Coca-Cola bottling plant returns to Greensboro

GREENSBORO N.C. -- North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe famously wrote that you can’t go home again.

Maybe that was true in his home town of Asheville but JB Harrison and his family are discovering that, under the right circumstance, you can.

JB Harrison began a Coca-Cola bottling operation in Greensboro in 1903. Not long after that, he moved the operation to Charlotte. Now, more than a century on, his great-grandson, Frank Harrison, is bringing part of the operation back.

In February of 2018, Frank Harrison opened a big facility in Greensboro to act as a main distribution hub not just for Coke but the 300 other products the company now distributes – as far away as Washington, D.C.

Of course, there are a fair number of stories about jobs coming and going, but there seems to be something special about this product.

“I think everybody has a Coca-Cola story somewhere in their life that is special to them,” said Jamie Harris who grew up in Reidsville and now helps run the operation. “I remember when I was a child, my father and I - my grandfather and I - we would go down to the local country store where we lived and we'd go down and get peanuts and a Coke bottle and drink it together.”

It’s a sentiment felt throughout the company.

"It's something bigger than just a beverage, right?” said Spencer Webster, who is the company’s vice president of field operations. “We all have memories of Coca-Cola, stories about when we were young and who we connected with.”

See the rest of this story in this edition of the Buckley Report.