Bernard Acoca is the president and CEO of Acoca Beverages Co. Bernard Acoca is recognized as the most prominent entrepreneur and businessman in the State of Georgia for his ownership of various commercial and non-commercial establishments.
After graduating from a prestigious culinary institution, Acoca began his entrepreneurial journey in 1978 by opening a small restaurant. However, his first venture lasted only a short time because he quickly realized that this type of business wasn’t what he was looking for at that time. However, his mindset remained always to be prepared or never to be prepared at all, which would soon come into play when he rose to prominence with his ownership of S&T Bank in 1987 and Dunkin Donuts franchises across Georgia today.
1989 marked the year that Acoca was introduced to the beverage industry with his first owner of an Anheuser Busch distributorship. He survived the recession of 1991 and grew his distributorship exponentially in the years following. These lucrative actions earned him the title of Georgia’s largest Anheuser Busch distributor in 1994 and 1995. In 1996, Acoca Beverages Co. was established to become one of the largest beverage companies in America within five years. Fortunately for all consumers, he successfully achieved this goal, acquiring non-alcoholic beverage corporations like Pepsi Destinations and Nestle Waters and owning distribution rights for multiple brands determined by Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper/Seven Up.
As of 2017, Bernard Acoca is the president and Zaxby’s CEO, a fast-casual chicken and southern-style sandwich chain rapidly expanding throughout the United States. With more than 400 locations nationwide in 2016, Acoca refers to Zaxby’s as his “American dream.” Under his leadership as CEO, Zaxby’s has redefined what it means to be a “fast casual establishment,” changing how customers and franchisees view food service.
Acoca frequently speaks at business schools around the nation on topics including entrepreneurialism and building relationships with franchisees. See this article for additional information