John Saputo – Beer Wholesaler and Community Champion
John Saputo is a third generation beer wholesaler and owner of Gold Coast Eagle Distributing in Sarasota, Florida. Additionally, he is a decorated United States Marine Corps officer who served three years on active duty and 32 years in the Reserves.
He proudly displays military medals and pictures in his office. Additionally, a Kabar knife, symbolizing Marine resourcefulness and capability, hangs nearby as a reminder.
Early Life and Education
John Saputo is a member of Canada’s oldest dairy processor family, having run it for generations. Though his business has had its share of mob controversy in the past, John always managed to move forward and expand his company.
As a Marine officer, he was deployed to stations throughout the country during Desert Storm/Desert Shield. Despite being away, he kept up with his job duties.
His company, Gold Coast Eagle Distributors (a Lakewood Ranch-based beer distributor), sponsors or assists with more than 325 charitable events annually. Furthermore, they keep an eye on politics – an essential requirement for a large business that pays 40% taxes for each case of beer sold.
John Saputo has had a distinguished and successful career in beer wholesale. As owner of Gold Coast Eagle Distributing in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, John was honored with Anheuser-Busch’s Ambassadors of Excellence award for 2017.
John is renowned for his generosity. He has donated thousands of cases of beer to charity projects around Sarasota and beyond, serving as an inspiring example of how the beer industry can support local communities.
Achievements and Honors
John Saputo, owner of Gold Coast Eagle Distributing in Sarasota, is a distinguished veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps (retired).
Major Saputo served in a battalion-sized unit during the Persian Gulf War that took fire from Iraqi insurgents during a mine field operation. Despite constant enemy fire, Major Saputo fired an M-16 rifle from his vehicle’s turret while giving commands to its gunner and dodging return fire.
He served in the Marine Corps during a 1991 cyclone that hit Bangladesh, leading his unit to rescue people and provide humanitarian aid. Upon returning home, he was awarded with the Humanitarian Relief Medal for his efforts. Additionally, he has earned three National Defense Medals as well as other distinctions.
Saputo was a passionate family man and champion for his community. He held strong to his convictions, becoming an influential member of the local business community by championing integration at a country club with an old “blackball” membership policy.
John Saputo was a decorated Marine who served in stations across the U.S. and Middle East. For his actions during a humanitarian mission in Bangladesh, where he led his unit on relief efforts after a cyclone devastated that country, John earned both the Bronze Star and Humanitarian Relief Medal.
Gold Coast Eagle Distributing’s commitment to community involvement extends far beyond their business operations. Last year, they donated $267,000 worth of beer (about 14,800 cases) in support of charity fundraising initiatives throughout Sarasota/Manatee.
John Saputo is a Canadian businessman and the founding president of the Montreal Impact soccer team. Additionally, he owns Saputo Stadium where the team plays.
Despite his business success, he is an ardent philanthropist, making significant donations to various organizations. Additionally, he serves on the PROCURE committee which seeks to cure and prevent prostate cancer.
He also spearheaded the construction of a Vietnam War monument on North Carolina’s capitol grounds, despite receiving death threats from hate groups for it. Despite these dangers, he persisted and stayed in Raleigh to raise funds for the endeavor.
The Saputo family owns and operates the esteemed dairy company, Saputo Inc., which has been around for decades. Their products are sold worldwide and they have also invested in restaurants, golf clubs and even Major League Soccer team the Montreal Impact.