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February 3, 2009

Old Time Sodas

The Pepsi Plant in Carlinville, IL in the 1970s

Most people who know me have heard about my grandpa's soda plant, and how I was raised on bubble gum and soda pop--literally. As a toddler my bottle had pepsi in it, not milk. My grandpa was born on a dairy farm, and around the turn of the century (1900s) they added some sort of orange drink to the dairy line. The family's own label soda company, Rosentreter Beverages, was born. This company's heyday was from the 1930s-1950s. Eventually, my grandpa became a Pepsi bottler, back in the day when soda came as a syrup and the bottler mixed it up as part of the bottling process. Grandpa stuck with the Pepsi company as the bottler became simply a distributor of aluminum-canned product. He was the sole distributor in his county in Carlinville, IL until cancer forced his retirement shortly before his death in 1986. His brother, my great-uncle Harold, owned and operated the Pepsi distributorship in the neighboring county in Alton, IL during all of this time. Whenever I visited Grandpa would have a case of Choc-ola in the closet in my grandparent's kitchen. When my sister went off to college in Missouri in the mid-80s, Grandpa sent her Diet Pepsi by the flat.

My Grandpa Rosentreter, hard at work in his office

So when I had a small amount of money and was looking for a great gift for my dad, the man who has everything, I turned to old-time sodas to bring back his small town memories. Back in 2003 I sent him a case of 24 bottles of sodas that I selected from Ifs Ands & Butts extensive list. At the time this cost me around sixty bucks. The flavor, feel, and memories brought out for my dad were priceless. ***edit: Just discovered Ifs ANds & Butts is no longer in business. They were replaced by The Soda Gallery. Info below.***

In Los Angeles a newspaper article led me to a small country store called Galcos. I clipped the article and was able to take my dad there once when he visited.

And then there's the big box chain--BevMo. My friend raves about their five cent sale that happens several times a year. She stocks up on wine, and entertains thanks to that sale.

The Soda Gallery
408 North Bishop Avenue
Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 946-SODA or toll free 1-866-946-SODA

Galco's Old World Grocery
5702 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 255-7115


What's your best source for soft drinks? Tell me about it below.

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