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Big Springs, Inc. announced Tuesday that the company will no longer produce soft drinks in Huntsville, and will begin buying drinks from outside bottlers.  87 employees will be impacted by the decision.

“We made the difficult decision to shift production to other Coca-Cola bottlers in Alabama so we can continue to compete for another 100 years,” said Rusty Isom, Big Springs, Inc. President, in a news release. “Contributing factors to our decision included increasing production costs, consolidation of our customer base and a focus on improving efficiency in the supply chain process to better serve our customers and consumers,” Isom said.

According to the news release, the company states it will work with the 87 affected employees and will assist them during the transition.  When WHNT News 19 contacted Big Springs Operations Manager Jim Sentell by phone Tuesday morning, he would not elaborate on the future of the employees.

The company will continue to distribute soft drinks in Madison and Limestone Counties from its Meridian Street facility.  The plant on Clinton Avenue in downtown Huntsville is expected to stop production by late summer.

Big Springs, Inc. has produced beverages in Huntsville since 1902.