In 1895 Grover Cleveland was president, the first theatre opened in Times Square and the local legend of Spring Grove Soda Pop, Inc was born.
Not many businesses make it 122 years, let alone continue to expand, but Spring Grove proves it has staying power. Its origins can be traced back to the town pharmacist., with several owners in between. Since 2003 though, it’s been in the care of Bob and Dawn Hansen.
“We’re bottling this year, it could be an excess of 70,000 cases, so we’ve been growing exponentially,” Bob Hansen, owner and operator, said.
Contract bottling for other companies makes up 55 percent of the Spring Grove Soda Pop’s business, but their claim to fame is still producing their own sweet treats. Something the Spring Grove residents of which are happy to be associated.
“I’ve gown up in Spring Grove, and one of the signatures of Spring Prove is Spring Grove Soda, ” Employee Daryl Melbostad said. “It kind of put Spring Grove on the map.”
The soda maintains it’s allure by staying true to it’s original recipes, and today the soda can be found all over the country, even as far as Los Angeles. With all that added business, the city is working on putting in a sewer system in the industrial park so the company can move there and further grow it’s brand. That’s why it’s important to get the tour in fast.
“It’s kind of a nice fun little thing for people to do when they’re traveling coming through the area. Just to stop in, have a nice cold soda and visit a little bit and take a walk around the plant,” Hansen said.
Spring Grove is also proving that it’s never too late for old businesses to try new things. It recently opened up a little retail store on Main Street in the city of Spring Grove called the Sugar Shack, where people can purchase vintage candy, comic books and of course their soda. Just a little way they are giving back, to a community that’s given them everything
“Spring Grove has been around since 1895, but It’s never been shut down. A lot of soda companies have been shut down for 10, 20 years, and somebody’s revived them and stuff like that, but I think the reason for Spring Grove was the community support,” Hansen added.
A sentiment, that will never fizzle out.
For another adventure make sure to check back next Wednesday for a new episode of Hometown Tourist, and a chance to make the La Crosse area your own.