GARDINER — The distinctive green and yellow delivery trucks of Pine State Trading Co. are familiar sights on roads in Maine, the rest of New England and New York.

They signify the reach of a company started 70 years ago in Augusta by Charlie Canning.

Today, Pine State Trading Co. has more than 800 workers and is on the brink of moving its convenience store distribution operation, which has been housed off State Street on the Augusta/Hallowell line, to a recently acquired building in Gardiner.

Pine State Trading Co. will receive the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year award for 2012 for all of its accomplishments.

“We will proudly accept the award on behalf of the over 800 Pine State employees that work extremely hard every day pursuing excellence in service to all of our customers,” said Nick Alberding, a managing partner of the company.

The family-owned distribution company serves about 5,000 clients with divisions for convenience stores, food service, beer and wine and vending.

Pine State acquired the former Associated Grocers of Maine building in Gardiner in August, gaining 265,000 square feet of warehouse space and more than 60,000 square feet of refrigerator and freezer space. The move to the site off U.S. Route 201 also puts the company closer to the turnpike.

The Maine Beverage Company and Pine State liquor divisions will remain at the Ellis Avenue site off State Street.

The company also has vending and food service divisions.

The company grew by buying other distributors and tracking trends in the industry, and had 600 vendors providing 18,000 products in 2010, according to information from the company.

The third generation of the Canning family leads the company: Alberding, Keith Canning, Gena Canning, all managing partners. They’ve owned the company since 2007.

“Gena, Keith and I are thrilled and humbled that Pine State Trading Co. will be receiving this year’s Business of the Year award from the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce,” said Alberding.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

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