NOKOMIS — A long-time business is no more after being in Nokomis for over a century. Ronchetti Distributing shuttered its operations on Friday in both Nokomis and Mattoon as the result of a sale.
Ronchetti Distributing was established in Benld in 1906 by coal miners Felix and John Ronchetti. In addition to working in the coal mines, they would distribute for the Pabst Brewing Company on the side.
The operation would relocate to Nokomis in 1914, and the company has been synonymous with Anheuser-Busch from 1914 until 2023.
Frank Ronchetti, Felix’s son, purchased some commercial property in Mattoon in 1935 to further expand operations into east-central Illinois.
Robert Ronchetti represents the current third and final generation to operate the business under the continued partnership with Anheuser-Busch. By 1972, the distributor sold 12 different packages and three brands of beer. Prior to its sale, Ronchetti sell 405 packages across 112 brands, all distributed out of St. Louis.
Ronchetti operations, equipment sold to Greenville distributor
Ronchetti sold the business to a neighboring distributor in Greenville, Donnewald Distributing, for an undetermined amount and now handling the territory. Donnewald, prior to the acquisition, serviced 12 counties across south-central Illinois for alcoholic beverages and five counties for non-alcoholic beverages.
Under the deal, Donnewald secures additional distribution rights for the territories previously held by Ronchetti Distributing, as well as the equipment. The buildings in Nokomis and Mattoon will be put up for sale.
Ronchetti took the time to thank his employees, customers, retailers, and the community for their loyalty and support for his family over the years.
Six employees worked out of the Nokomis facility. They include Alex Seifert, Kris Detmers, Barry Epley, Kelli Ransdell, Tom Lindsay, and Troy Reynolds. All were offered positions with the new company.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.