In 1926, Red Lodge businessman Mike Dimich purchased Red Lodge Bottling Works, renaming the business as Beartooth Bottling Co. The company sold candy, chewing gum, cigars and other confections. The company mixed its own soft drinks in various flavors, selling the beverages in 7-ounce bottles that were adorned with a tepee logo.
It was a good business, but Beartooth Bottling took a big leap forward after Mitch Dimich, Mike’s nephew, ran into a representative of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling company, who was looking to expand the company’s territory into the West. Before long, Beartooth Bottling Co. became Montana’s first Pepsi-Cola bottler.
The first batch of Pepsi-Cola rolled off the line in 1937. Through the years, the Dimich family worked hard to grow the business. Sugar shortages and gasoline rationing proved to be a challenge during World War By 1954, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. moved to Billings ot service a larger market.
Over the years, the parent company has provided many new products as it adapted to consumers’ changing tastes and preferences. Five members of the Dimich family still work in the business.
(Bill Dimich, president of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Billings, is pictured with one of the company's vintage delivery trucks.)