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September 22, 2023

Watsonville’s Couch Distributing sold

WATSONVILLE—Couch Distributing Company, Inc. announced to its employees Tuesday that after nearly a half-century of service it is selling its distribution business to Fresno-based Donaghy Sales, LLC.

Established in 1973 Couch Distributing Company has been the leading beer and beverage distributor in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties for more than 47 years.

“It was with very mixed emotions that George and Geoff Couch decided to sell their business, but the need for ‘scale’ was evident and Donaghy is the perfect successor,” Vice-President of Administration Marty Corley said in a press release.

The Couch brothers sold their company, Corley said, after they were convinced that their employees would have better opportunities to grow and prosper in the rapidly-consolidating industry with Donaghy. They also sought to leave a long-term continuous route to market for their suppliers, many of whom are small California craft brewers, Corley said.

In addition, they feel strongly that Donaghy, which operates in the San Joaquin Valley from Stockton to Visalia, will continue to provide great service, merchandising and sales guidance to the retailers both on and off premise that have supported Couch Distributing Company for all these years, Corley added.

The acquisition of Couch Distributing will expand the Donaghy sales footprint to three Central Coast counties, Corley said.

Reflecting on their nearly five decades of business, George and Geoff Couch expressed gratitude for the people that are and have been part of the Couch team that built and operated the business, and the people of the Central Coast that patronized their brands.

“This was a tough decision, Couch Distributing has been my life’s work and an incredible adventure,” said George Couch, Chairman and founder of Couch Distributing. “It was very important to me who carried the torch forward. Geoff and I both feel we could not have found better successors than Ryan Donaghy and the Donaghy family.”

Donaghy is the distributor of a number of beer brands and other beverages from Anheuser-Busch, Heineken USA, Firestone Walker and other local craft brewers. Donaghy distributes over 15 million cases annually to over 5,000 retail accounts. 

The company plans to operate out of the Watsonville warehouse in addition to its existing warehouses in Fresno and Stockton. Donaghy Sales, LLC was founded 52 years ago by Ed and Janis Donaghy and continues to be owned and operated by the Donaghy family. Ryan Donaghy currently serves as President of Donaghy Sales, LLC.

“Donaghy Sales has always been committed to providing excellent service to our retailers, being good partners with our suppliers, and providing a positive work environment for our employees,” said Ryan Donaghy. “We have a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for the Couch family. They have been very close friends of ours for 47 years and we look forward to building upon the strong foundation of service and community involvement that they have built in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.”

Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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