Fireworks distribution center moves to Boonville, creates new jobs

A Columbia fireworks distributor has outgrown its facility and plans to open a new distribution center in Boonville.

Spirit of ’76 distributes fireworks at its current facility off of Highway 40 in Columbia, but plans to relocate to the old Nordyne warehouse in Boonville.

Owner John Bechtold said he hopes to complete the move in about five weeks.

“It’s going to be a really big improvement in our efficiency from where we were at Midway,” Bechtold said.

The new facility is 150,000 square feet and Bechtold said he plans to hire 12 new seasonal employees starting at the end of March.

Boonville Mayor Julie Thacher said creating jobs in Boonville is critical.

“We’ve been in a period where a lot of things, a lot of factories have closed and we have a lot of empty buildings,” Thacher said. “So to have something that was going to occupy an empty building was great. We were super thrilled about that.”

Warehouse manager Sean Clark said the distributor looked for new facilities for about a year and a half before it made a decision.

“Boonville just seemed to have everything we needed,” Clark said. “It has an excellent facility. It’s almost custom made for our needs.”

Clarks said the new location is right off of I-70 and is ideal for shipping.

Bechtold said the location was a good choice because he plans to keep his offices and retail store in Columbia.

Clark said Spirit of ’76 imports fireworks from China and then distributes them nationwide.

By Alyssa Casares, KOMU

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