By: Andrew Boardwine, Morning News
FLORENCE, S.C. – Schipp Johnston, the owner of Crown Beverages in Florence, was named the 2018 Business Person of the Year during the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Luncheon on Thursday.
Johnston, a Florence native, said he was thankful for his staff, his family and those who gave him an opportunity in his career.
“It’s a humbling honor,” Johnston said. “I want to thank everyone who works at Crown Beverages and all of our partners. I also want to thank my family and the support they’ve given me.”
Johnston graduated from South Florence High School before attending the University of South Carolina. After working in Charlotte for a few years, Johnston returned home in 1991 to work for DuBard Beverages. He worked in several capacities, including controller, sales manager, general manager and partner. In 2006, Johnston purchased the business and formed what is known today as Crown Beverages Inc.
At the time of the purchase, the company had just one supplier — Anheuser-Busch, Inc. — but has since grown to more than 40 suppliers, employs about 80 people and serves over 800 customers in seven counties in the Pee Dee.
“Mr. DuBard means everything to me,” Johnston said. “He gave me a chance and fortunately, I’ve been surrounding by great people, great friends and a great family. It’s been awesome and I really appreciate it.”
Recently, Johnston reached an agreement with Southern Eagle Distributing Co. based in Charleston and the two companies now represent 51 counties and employ more than 500 people.
In addition to his job, Johnston loves to spend time with his family and volunteer in the community.