Mavericks: Raising Arizona

HOW AN EX-BEER DISTRIBUTOR FROM BROOKLYN BUILT A BLAZING ICED-TEA BRAND--AND PLANS TO STAY AHEAD

Like any good chairman of a multimillion-dollar beverage company, Don Vultaggio knows that distribution is a key to success. But unlike most high-flying executives, Vultaggio, head of privately owned Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons, maker of the popular Arizona brand of iced tea, will spend a Friday night on a forklift. On a recent evening, Vultaggio, in jeans and an untucked T shirt, zipped around a steamy, 30,000-sq.-ft. Tampa, Fla., warehouse on a hi-low, moving pallets to fit 3 million cans, bottles and gallon jugs of Arizona into the space. Vultaggio had flown from his Lake Success, N.Y., headquarters early that morning...

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