One of the first News Tribune Attic posts, back in early 2008, included this 1977 photo of Central Entrance, which showed the Pop Shoppe:
As I learned then, the Pop Shoppe was a retailer that sold returnable, refillable bottles of soda in several flavors; customers could mix and match their soda selections. You can find more background here.
The original Pop Shoppe went out of business in the 1980s, but the brand has been revived in the past decade in Canada and the U.S., with the pop sold at gas stations, convenience stores and other locations (instead of Pop Shoppe-branded stores).
And now, you can find it again in the Northland. Last week I stopped in at the Super America on Miller Trunk Highway out near Pike Lake, and found these in the cooler:
These are two of the eight flavors bottled by the “new” Pop Shoppe (including cream soda, which apparently had a lot of fans). I don’t know if they are in fact the original soda “recipes,” but I can say that the cola had a unique flavor – certainly different than Coke, Pepsi or RC. A little sweeter and less bite than some colas. The “lime ricky” wasn’t bad, but wasn’t all that good, either.
Want to try some for yourself? The company’s website lists many other Minnesota outlets, including several along the I-35 corridor. The Pike Lake Super America isn’t listed; I’m not sure if the soda is available anywhere else in the Twin Ports area. I also don’t know how long it has been back here – but last week was the first time I saw it.
Share your Pop Shoppe memories and sightings by posting a comment.