The Pop Shoppe

The Pop Shoppe

If you grew up in the 70s, you might remember a little chain called The Pop Shoppe. Based in Ontario, Canada and sold within 14 of the United States, this place was a kid’s dream come true – a store that sold nothing but soda, in just about every flavor imaginable.

Not only did they sell soda; they sold a whopping 26 different flavors of soda. Sure, they had your standard cola, root beer, orange, etc., but there were also gems like pineapple and lime rickey. For the parents, there were mixers like tonic water, ginger ale and club soda, and for those counting their calories, a modest selection of diet beverages.

You could only buy soda by the case at The Pop Shoppe, but that didn’t mean you were stuck with one flavor. On the contrary, you could mix and match to your little heart’s delight. The Pop Shoppe provided big, red plastic cases that you filled up with 24 bottles of your choice. When you finished drinking them, you returned the case and the bottles to the store, and started all over again. Thanks to the recycling aspect, prices for soft drinks were generally lower than the grocery store, making The Pop Shoppe not only environmentally-friendly, but also cost-effective.

Although The Pop Shoppe didn’t manage to survive the 80s, the company did re-launch their product in 2002, and although they no longer offer returnable bottles, they at least offer some of their best-remembered flavors to nostalgic fans. Still, there was nothing like going on a soda shopping trip back in the day, mixing and matching all those colorful bottles. The Pop Shoppes of yesteryear may be gone, but they will not soon be forgotten.

Did you happen to live near a Pop Shoppe in the 70s, and have a parent nice enough to let you help pick out a case of soda every once in a while? Share your memories of The Pop Shoppe with us in our comments section, as we tip our hats to a beverage smorgasbord that we wouldn’t mind seeing return.

33 Responses to “The Pop Shoppe”

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  1. Zoetrope11384EB says:

    From what I remember, there was a the Pop Shoppe was not a separate store, but distrbuted their product in supermarkets. In late 1980 and the first half of 1981 (I was 13 and in the 7th grade at the time), my mom used to buy Pop Shoppe soda from a discount supermarket, and you would pick the varieties that you would select to put in the red plastic case and you would save the glass bottles the drinks came in and return these back to the supermarket to be refilled. They did have all variety of drinks, including ginger ale, root beer, creme soda, cherry, orange, pineapple, lemon-lime (this was green and not clear like 7-Up or Sprite), grapefruit, grape, cola and cherry cola. I don’t really remember when my mom stopped buying Pop Shoppe, so I must not have missed it all that much. But several years ago, I wondered what happened to Pop Shoppe and did a search. Apparently, they’re back, but they don’t sell near the variety of carbonated drinks as they used to.

  2. HardyGirl66 says:

    I have this commercial on one of my vintage commercial tapes. That annoyed teenage girl at the beginning is pretty funny! “Oh really?” @@

  3. Jughead Jones says:

    The 70’s?!? I’ll have you know that we had a Pop Shoppe in my hometown well into the 1980’s. I know because I would always get the Lime Rickey flavoured ones. Those ones were so awesome. Best part is, one of the discount stores in the area have the relaunched Pop Shoppe drinks, and I can get my Lime Rickey sodas again. I also like the Black Cherry and Orange ones. Really good memories of that drink.

  4. princessdiana says:

    I can’t remember if I’ve been to one,I was a little girl,and I don’t remember it.

  5. venicet says:

    These were great in the 70’s. My younger sister is diabetic, and they were one of the few places that had GOOD sugar free pop. Tab and Fresca were the only other diet pop available and they tasted nasty compared to the sugar free pop available today.

  6. Gina says:

    Never heard of this before, but it sounds divine! I’m always on the lookout for something new in the field of soft drinks.

  7. Kathryn Wenzel says:

    I have one of the red crates, but, alas, no bottles! Any collectors out there? Our Pop Shoppe was on 35th Avenue north of Bethany Home Rd in Phoenix!

    • Louise says:

      We have awhole bunch of them full bottles and crates longnecks and stubbies for sale if interested or if you know anyone let me know it has been great to go back in time and find such rare treasures!!!! St. Catharines, ON CA

  8. Sheldon says:

    This brings back memories! I remember as a kid going to the Pop Shoppe after grocery shopping. My sister and I got to pick out a couple of flavours each. It was such a big deal choosing flavours , we probably spent a half an hour deciding. Drove our parents nuts!

    I also remember the Pop Shoppe’s rival … Pic-A-Pop.

  9. Vicki says:

    We had a Pop Shoppe in Apple Valley, MN when I was a kid. It closed in the late 70’s or early 80’s. Much to my surprise, I now live about 40 miles north of there, and I walked into the local convenience store and they had a whole shelf of Pop Shoppe Pop! Of course I had to buy the “green” one, and the “pineapple” one…my faves as a kid. But, as an adult, I could barely get it down – the sweetness and high sugar content knocked my socks off – not in the way I was hoping! Either the recipe has changed, or my pallet has…. Was a good idea in the day, and I miss it. But now I just walk right by that liquid sugar!

  10. Kokovec says:

    I loved The Pop Shoppe! We had a store in my home town. My friends and I would end up there more often than my mom would have liked.
    Now I live in LA near a Rocket Fizz shop so I pop by once in a while to grab a black cherry soda.

  11. Chris says:

    BEST THING EVER. I was a kid in the late 70s in Alexandria, VA and we would go to the shoppe and mix and match. It was like picking out a dozen donuts (a couple of those, a few of these, etc). Lime Rickey was the BEST. You could tell bottles that had been returned because they had a horizontal red stripe on the back. It was a great concept.

    I was talking to a coworker about it and I googled them on a whim. Now I’m on a quest for some precious Lime Rickey!

  12. William says:

    I was wondering what are Pop Shoppe Bottles worth at this time. i have couple that about 20 years old?

  13. Eddie says:

    instead of the quintessential keg and fully stocked bar which was vital to a good party in the late 70s, one of the rich kids at our high school had a party stocked with pop shoppe. only time I ever drank them. I remember the party was really fun! the live band did a frampton cover; the guitarist even used a talk box which was awesome. I told a guy next to me, he’s doing that with a tube in his mouth! to which I got the smart aleck reply no kidding!!

  14. iyamloved says:

    sitting around the day after turkey day, talking about everything and up jumped “what the h… was the name of that pop that isn’t around any more, came in the short bottles that came in the red plastic crate.”? a hush fell over the room, and then a bunch of guesses none of them even close but all knew which one we were talking about except one person. Sooooo, what to do… popped the ole’ computer….TA DA! POP SHOPPE!!!!!! what a world we live in instead of thinking of something, that will drive a person crazy…..look it up THANK GOD!

  15. Kathy Garito says:

    My ex-husband and I worked for the Pop Shoppe in Phoenix in the 70’s. It was a great place to work and an awesome product and concept.

  16. Patty Navarrette says:

    I sooooo remember this store…!!! I LOVED it! It was the coolest thing to go with my parents and get to pick out all kinds of flavors of soda…. a whole case load….!! I wish I could do the same with my daughters. And yes… the glass bottles need to make a return! Soda *DOES NOT* taste the same in a PlAsTiC bottle …… never has and never will!
    PLEASE ….. Bring the stores back to California!

  17. Charles Marshall says:

    My first job out of high school was at Pop Shoppe in Fullerton Ca. I worked on the production line in 1976 and later in shipping in 77 and if anyone is interested I still have a full bottle of cola from the one millionth case of which thier were actually 4

  18. joell Velotta says:

    Loved pop shoppe wish it would returned

  19. Mary C says:

    My uncle was the company founder. I remember when I first heard about it. Of course when he visited he brought samples. But I remember being most impressed by the fact it only cost a nickel. He sold the company after just a few years and moved on to something else (that’s what he did with a lot of companies) but I still remember this one fondly.

  20. Kelly Allen says:

    I remember the pop shoppe! Best flavors ever! I remember going there with my cousins. It was located at what appeared to be an old corner gas station. Big red sign that said Pop Shoppe! Always knew we were in for a special treat when we would stop in. Great memories!

  21. Randy says:

    Haaha, Hey what a fun website! Here is my story. In high school, 2:30, as soon as school ended for the day, me and my best friend raced to the Pop Shoppe. We did that 5 days a week because we worked at the bottling plant in Fullerton, Ca. We were the #2 and #3 employees on swing shift, there was only one more person above us on that shift so we had a lot of responsibility as we were 16/17 years old. There were a few Spanish employees and we had to keep them busy as well. We ran the bottle filling machine, the capping machine and the packer that put the bottles in the cases. We made sure that the line was up and running, caps were being put on every bottle and that there were no lo-fills coming out of the filling machine. Sometime the filling machine would overfill a bottle or two and the bottles would explode; glass flying everywhere. That was pretty crazy! Anyway, there was a huge bottle washing and sterilizing machine to keep busy and forklifts to take the pallets, once they were loaded, to the warehouse. At midnight we went home, slept, went to school and then it was back to the Pop Shoppe. I don’t remember what we were paid but it couldn’t have been much lol The Pop Shoppe scored the day my best friend and I were hired. It was a lot of fun working there and I learned a lot There was also a soda store in front; always a cute girl working. Our house always had Pop Shoppe in the fridge and empty cases to return in the back yard. We were allowed a case of soda every night to take home…. No wonder I hated soda for a long time. We always had money though and when the weekend came…. we worked Friday nights!!! Ok, so I saved some money instead of going somewhere and spending it. For some reason today I Googled “Pop Shoppe” and that’s how I found this website. Thanks for having me and letting me vent! Just joking! I meant, thanks for having me and allowing me a place to tell my story. I had a lot of good times working at the Pop Shoppe; maybe I’ll come back sometime and tell you what two 16 year old boys can find to do in a bottling plant at night!!! All of this I remember like it was yesterday. I wish it were… I’m 52 now and that was a long time ago!

  22. patrick Jordan says:

    Back in the 70’s there was a Pop Shop in Modesto, Ca. I remember one of my cousins always had it in their garage and we regularly snuck a Soda or 2 ever so often. As a matter of fact, a lot of my family went there fairly often.

  23. Shane says:

    Is there any place where this soda can still be purchased? It was a real great at Grandma and Grandpa’s growing up.

  24. mike says:

    I remember pop shoppe when i was 15 yrs old in Portland Oregon. they had a shop north of division and my grandfather would buy my brother and i a crate of pop every week during the summer we were the hit of the neighborhood, to bad they are gone would love to share the flavors with my kids, any chance they will return

  25. Patricia Coats says:

    I worked at aPop Shoppe in 1978-81 in Roseburg Oregon. The grand opening was best discribed as well organized chaos. I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed working there. Loved the product and would like to get my hands on some.

  26. Shawn Hall says:

    The Pop Shoppe was my first job it was hard work loading in the new inventory and lugging crates but I loved it. Best soda ever.

  27. judy good says:

    We have 3 red crates full of bottles still with pop in them if anyone interested

  28. Margaret says:

    i really love glass bottles for pop. That gave me a feeling of real pop. I love cherry flavour the best. I’m n central newfoundland. Haven’t seen any in years. Now I’m going to look. If I find any I’m going for a ride to my memory lane place. I’m going to get one off each that’s there. Anyone can send me places to look.

  29. Trying for weeks to remember the name and finally found it. The Pop Shoppe . Used to buy it in the early 70’s in San Jose, Ca. What memories to have when I was a young man. I am nearly 70 years old and I will remember till I am no longer.

  30. Phen says:

    I remember this being part of my childhood visits to my Grandma and Grandpas’s house in Elmvale, Ontario. I was thinking about it tonight and of course it lead me to this site. As i sit around dinner tables now with everyone drinking water, I can’t help but recall a time when the pride of my grandparents was having a stocked fridge of pop. A great memory and fond experience….but so were lawn darts..

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