Friday, January 25, 2013

Birthplace of Pepsi-Cola

Only in America would the creation of a soft drink warrant an historic marker.  The illustrious beginning of the iconic brand, Pepsi, all began here in New Bern, North Carolina.  I suppose, with its recognizable red, white and blue logo, it's as American as the Stars and Stripes.
Caleb Bradham graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1867, and intended to go to medical school to become a pharmacist, but did not have the finances to do so.  He took a position teaching at the New Bern High School, but when the opportunity arose to buy a local drugstore, he grabbed it.  While working at his store, he studied for the Board of Pharmacy examination and passed.  His dream came true.

He was now a pharmacist and a businessman.  When he created "Brad's Drink", he marketed it as "exhilarating, invigorating and an aid to digestion."  He soon packaged his drink in syrup form and sold it as "Pepsi-Cola".  The cola wars had begun!

The building on the corner of Pollock and Middle Streets has been turned into a mini-museum for Pepsi.  It includes a reproduction of the soda fountain where Caleb first served his carbonated beverage.  There are lots of souvenirs to buy if you're a Pepsi fan.  I find it interesting that you are Either-Or.  "Do you like Coke or Pepsi?"  I've been asked this question many times.  Evidently, you can't like both; and evidently, you can't find both in a restaurant or fast food chain.  The two companies have divided up the world.  How American is that!

Sorry, New Bern, but Mimi and I prefer Coke!

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