Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pepsi Memories

Remember the old 1970's Saturday Night Live sketch that took place in a Greek greasy spoon? No matter what the customers tried to order (especially if it included a Coke), the proprietor (played by John Belushi) would change the order to a cheeseburger, chips and a Pepsi!

Well, the unavailability of Coke as depicted in the diner would have been fine in our house while I was growing up. My parents never bought Coke. We washed down our Yala's pizza every Friday night with good old sugary sweet Pepsi. In fact, I only remember my parents buying Coke a few times, back in the returnable bottle days, when for some reason Pepsi temporarily wasn't available at A&P or Meyer Goldberg's (or wherever they were shopping at that point).

We were a real Pepsi family, that's for sure. That's why I always thought it was kind of neat that there was Pepsi bottling plant on Route 57.  I never knew how long the plant was there until I found the following article on microfilm at the library. It appeared in the Lorain Journal on Saturday, April 12, 1958.

Pepsi-Cola Will Build Elyria Plant
Company Picks Site on Rt. 57

ELYRIA – Plans for the location of a $500,000 Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. Plant here were announced yesterday by Robert H. Snyder, president of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Cleveland.

The new plant, which is expected to be in operation by June, 1959, will be located on a six-acre site fronting on Rt. 57, between the State Highway Patrol Building and the Turnpike Interchange.

Snyder and Ivan L. Lawyer, vice-president, said the plant would employ about 50 persons, most of whom would be hired from this area. Certain key personnel will be transferred from Cleveland to supervise operations.

The new plant will be a modern, one-story building, covering some 40,000 square feet, Snyder said.

Besides the three sizes of Pepsi-Cola, the plant will produce the company's line of flavored beverages for distribution throughout Lorain, Huron and Erie counties.

Snyder said Pepsi-Cola's sales in this area had increased 22 percent each year over the past three years and estimated that the new plant would produce in excess of one million cases of soft drinks.

Construction of the building will begin late this fall, Snyder said, explaining that the construction was timed to fall between the peak seasons for soft drink sales.

Several other sites were considered before Elyria was chosen as the site for the new plant, and much of the credit for the decision to locate here was given to the Lorain County Development Committee, which assisted in the negotiations, Lawyer said.

Elyria was chosen as the site for the new plant because of the city's geographical location in the area to be served and because of the utilities available, Lawyer said.

The plant will consume some 15 million gallons of water a year, Lawyer stated, adding that Elyria's ability to provide this volume of water at high pressure was an advantage in the city's favor.

Negotiations for locating the plant in Elyria began last September. The land was purchased from Jack R. Hanford and Phil L. Bradstock of Elyria and was recently rezoned by the city and the Elyria Township trustees to permit building of the plant.

The plant site is located partly in Elyria and partly in the township. The building will be located within the city's corporate limits. The area within the township will be used for parking area.


Pepsi Bottling plant on Route 57 in Elyria
Today the plant is still in operation, and the building and truck signage reflect the latest corporate makeover of the Pepsi logo.

As a graphic designer, I feel really strongly about maintaining a continuity of design, and thus I never really liked the new look. I preferred the original, classic logo that looked great on a bottle cap. But I understand that the Pepsi brass aren't trying to appeal to middle-age members of the 1960's Pepsi Generation.

Or are they? Have you tasted Pepsi Throwback yet? If you prefer the way Pepsi used to taste back in the 1960's, then you'll love Pepsi Throwback, which uses real sugar instead of corn syrup. It's terrific – with Yala's Pizza or anything!

Apparently Pepsi is going to keep making it as long as people buy it, so stock up! (I am! But don't tell my trainer or my dentist!)


-Alan D Hopewell said...

I love Pepsi Throwback, because it reminds me of the days when my brother and I shined shoes downtown; my favorite dinner when we were out there was a bag of Snyder's chips and a 12 oz. bottle of Pepsi.

Randall Chet said...

Like yours Dan, our family was a Pepsi family. Unlike nowadays, softdrinks were only for special occasions: weddings, birthday parties, picnics & every Sunday night at 7:30. Yalas, Pepsi & Disney. The empties were stored in the lower cabinet next to the refrigerator. I could always find a little concentrated syrupy goodness left in them.

lsrx101 said...

Yalas Pizza and a 12oz bottle of Pepsi...Yummmm.
I drink Diet Pepsi nowadays but the combo goes just as well together.
A Pepsi Throwback over ice on a hot day last summer brought back a flood of memories. If only it had come out of a 12 or 16oz. glass bottle. :)