Great Canadiana: The Pop Shoppe

Other / Canada

pop_shoppe.gif

Nothing beats the taste of a great Canadian soda, and there weren’t any greater than The Pop Shoppe. Starting in London Ontario 1969, The Pop Shoppe let consumers buy their soda directly from their distribution outlets, bypassing the typical retail route and passing the savings on to the customer. It sounds crazy, but it worked — within three years they’d expanded to over 500 stores and eventually branched out into the states. People were mixing and matching cases and returning refillable bottles all over the country.

The good times couldn’t last forever though, and despite having some of the best tasting soda on the market (and a big time spokesperson like hockey legend Eddie Shack!) the company folded in 1983. The general consensus is that the business was killed by a combination of store-brand sodas entering the marketplace in major grocery chains and Coca-Cola’s introduction of a diet cola.

In 2004 The Pop Shoppe made a quiet return. Store shelves in small convenience stores were being stocked with Black Cherry and Lime Ricky Pop Shoppe bottles for the first time — and they were just as good as ever. In the four years since, the product has successfully rolled out into much larger availability, with select Zellers stores featuring the product and the 7-11 Food Store chain recently signing on to carry it in all of it’s Ontario locations.

Have you had your Pop Shoppe lately?


49 responses to “Great Canadiana: The Pop Shoppe”

  1. Khristopher says:

    I wanna try it now!

  2. Kevin says:

    I buy one every time I’m at the corner deli getting a sandwich. No other bottler makes a Black Cherry that can compare!

  3. Laura says:

    I had no idea they were back! I remember them fondly from my childhood & have even told people about them… Black Cherry! Yum!

    I hope to see them soon in Montreal.

  4. baggypants says:

    Oh..the memories of Pop Shoppe…I worked for one of the outlets for several months…selling/drinking great pop and pumping gas…what a wonderful summer….met lots of cutiepies!!!

  5. Ted Avery says:

    You can find these at Zellers for $1 a bottle. Delicious 🙂

  6. kingy says:

    i LOVED these as a kid. i always wondered what happened to them.

  7. nis says:

    i remember pop shoppe from my childhood in my hometown of Kelowna, B.C..

  8. Greg says:

    I believe I also saw them at Costco.

  9. Todd says:

    Are they at the Zellers or Costco in Vancouver (Langley/Surrey) anywhere. Anyone seen any?

  10. Laura says:

    I always see them at the Giant Tiger here in Mississauga too…
    Always have to get some – the kids are hooked now too!

  11. adora says:

    I’ve seen them at Zellers.

  12. Young Freebie says:

    I wish you could do a feature on Propeller soft drinks, but sadly, NS only.

  13. paula says:

    How exciting!!! Brings back many childhood memories of going to the depot to select our combination of 24 bottles. My favourite was Black Cherry. Are they in BC?

  14. JeLLo says:

    Seems like everyones fave was Black Cherry…it certainly was mine!!!

  15. sarah says:

    Ooh!! My dad will love this! anyone seen them in Edmonton, AB??

  16. jenna says:

    I’m how I miss the good ole days! I fondly remember returning the bottles and getting replacement pop as a kid in New Brunswick. I’m going to dig here in BC to see if I can get some black cherry or lime YUMMY! Thanks for the update.

  17. Young Freebie says:

    The best way to know if it’s near you people, is to go and see. That’s all I can suggest. I’ve seen it at Giant Tiger though, for those who know what those are.

  18. Jennifer says:

    God this brings back memories! I believe it was the Pop Shoppe that we went to, I’ll have to ask my mom to be sure. WOW! This one is challenging my memory.

  19. stonenight says:

    we water busy white vacant frog

  20. sdSFATJ says:

    ZELLERS HAS POP SHOPPE

  21. Sally says:

    Are you sure it was 1983? I remember being 7 or 8 and getting the pop shoppe pop all the time, and that would of been as late as 1987. Eithher I was drinking really old pop and I’m such an expiry hound I doubt that.

    I looked it up on Wikepedia, and the posting is close to yours but wikepedia isn’t always correct either.

    Heres what I found.

    ”Its first incarnation was distributed across the Canada and 12 states in the United States. The brand had 30 different flavours at its height. The original company went bankrupt and relinquished the rights to its name in 1993.’

    Eases my mind a bit knowing I didn’t drink 7 year old pop lol.

  22. scarlet says:

    All Giant Tiger in Ontario sell these in all kinds of different flavors! Ay only 99cents a bottle!

  23. Jody says:

    In Edmonton, I saw Pop Shoppe pop at the Zellers in West Edmonton Mall. I’m sure they’re at the Giant Tiger as well. And yes, the pop tastes just like you remember it… 🙂

  24. James says:

    This brings back a lot of memories… 🙂
    We used to buy it by the case.
    Will be on the lookout for it.

  25. C says:

    I’ve seen them at the Zellers in Abbotsford.

  26. Blair says:

    Actually, I can shed a bit of light on The Pop Shoppe. I wrote several lengthy articles about the brand’s history. It did, indeed, cease to exist as a company in 1983. But some independent franchises continued to operate for years after. So while it was still branded as The Pop Shoppe, it wasn’t run by the original parent company.

    My original stories can be found at: http://www.sodaspectrum.com/shoppe.htm

    Blair

  27. Litesandsirens911 says:

    I remember growing up as a kid on the outskirts of Montreal (Laval) and the Pop Shoppe truck would deliver our pop every week (yes, they had delivery)..I remember my mom putting out the empty bottles and getting the full ones and we’d fight over the orange soda…I hope to see BC get some of this, it’s a memory from my childhood I’d like to pass on to my kids.
    Thanks!

    • Carolyn King says:

      I was so glad to find this memory comment (from Apr 2009), after spending some time searching for evidence that Pop Shoppe used to deliver(!) I never drank it myself, but I remember that they delivered. In North York (now part of Toronto), I think in the 70’s. Those iconic trucks were everywhere. Nothing about this on Wikipedia and the Pop Shoppe website.

  28. trevor hehn says:

    I would like to open a pop shoppe where do I get franchise info

  29. buzzed says:

    I remember the days of pop shoppe as a kid, my favorite was lime ricky. However the pineapple is awesome as well.

  30. Brandon says:

    Zellers at Oakridge Centre in Vancouver has them by the flat and singles! You can get variety flats (with Root Beer, Black Cherry, Cream Soda and Lime Ricky), or flats of all one flavour (Cola and Pineapple, in addition to the ones I mentioned earlier)!

  31. gw says:

    I saw them at Zellers in Edmonton Kingsway. Does anyone know who the supplier is?

  32. sethA says:

    what i don’t get is why lime rickey is green now…

    according to Brian Alger they’re using the old recipes… yet lime rickey used to be uncoloured… it was just cloudy…

    lemon lime was the green one…

  33. dave greene says:

    I remember the noise of clinking bottles being filled at the Ottawa loco on St. Laurant.

  34. Mike says:

    My father was one of the original partners. My claim to fame is that my dad brought home several possible logos he had designed and me, my brother and my sister chose the now-classic logo from the bunch. Nothing says “the 70’s” like The Pop Shoppe logo.

    Although I can’t seem to find any direct evidence (via Google), I think the original flavours were from a company called Kist Canada.

    I guess they were ahead of their time with the idea by re-using the bottles. When VentureTech bought the company, they abandoned the concept of selling direct from the factory floor and tried to compete head-to-head with the big boys. They abandoned their niche and lost their competitive advantage as well.

    My dad tried to duplicate the success with a company in the US called Soda Pop City and almost lost our family home in the process. Luckily, the creditors didn’t take it. I guess they had feelings back then!

  35. Adam says:

    Picked them up at Zeller’s in Surrey BC. Funny thing is the “Pick A Pop” retailer that we used to get the pop from when I was kid was only half a block away where the Zellers is now. Cant wait for them to cold in the fridge and let my kids have a taste….just one taste.

  36. What is captcha code?, pls provide me captcha code codes or plugin, Thank you in advance.

  37. Tim McDougal says:

    I remember buying these great tasting sodas at the POP SHOPPE in Manchester Connecticut, I wish they would come back!!

  38. Tim M says:

    remember when they had a Pop Shoppe in Manchester Connecticut, Like to see it come back!!

  39. donna says:

    Please give me a contact number to place an order
    Donna

  40. Paula says:

    The big question is, where do you return the bottles for refund? Or do we just have to put them in the blue box and recycle them. Zellers did not seem to know.

  41. Marta says:

    mmm…black cherry is my favourite.

  42. mooo says:

    Who are the 2 inventors of “The Pop Shoppe”???????????????

  43. dorian c gray says:

    there should be a warehouse or store to purchase the pop shoppe drinks in nova scotia,like when i was a kid in the 70 s and 80 s.
    thanks

  44. brian says:

    when I was a kid we used to go to the pop shoppe and we were able to refill them there on the spot, The pop shoppe was located right in topsail road, st.john’s, newfoundland and labrador by the old Co-op grocery store back in the late 70’s and 80’s. I was hoping to gather up information about that company and what happened back then so if someone could help me it would be grestly appreciated.

  45. Barbara says:

    I worked for one of the men who got Pop Shoppe’s stared, he was on a plane coming back to London and got talking to his seatmate who told him he could make pop for 5 cents a bottle. My boss William (Bill) H. said it you can make it I can sell it. Thus started a partnership, to market and sell the product that became Pop Shoppe pop with the advertising company I worked for (G&H Advertising) in London. I am not giving last names or the full name of the advertising company for obvious reasons the. After much success here, they tried the concept out in Atlanta, Georgia, where it was a miserable failure, due to the fact that Atlanta was “Coke” city.

  46. lilian says:

    Can I buy it in the Netherlands or even online

  47. david says:

    Where can you purchase this pop in nova scotia?

Leave a Reply to stonenight Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *












  •  




     

  • RSS Hot Canada Deals

  • Recent Comments

  • Did You Know?

    Smart Canucks is Canada's first Canadian shopping deals blog and has been operating since 2005!



  • Join Mailing List

    Pages

    Categories

    Archives

    Find Deals by Brand!