View Full Version : Your Favorite Soda Superstores?

05-06-2004, 06:30 PM
Last summer, before a 7000 mile road trip, I posted a question here about where to find the widest variety of "neat sodas" under one roof. I received a lot of help from the Soda Sommelier but, as it turns out, the places he recommended were out of business when I arrived.

Well, I'm trying again. =) There is nothing better than bringing home a boatload of undiscovered goodies for the people at home to sample. My little sister-in-law just returned from Japan and we had two days of fun drinking bizarre concoctions. Coca-Cola Scorpion was the best! =)

This summer, we are driving through northern Minnesota, most of Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, Pennsylvania, tiny bits of West Virginia, Virginia and Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

If any of you know of anywhere in any of these states that is well worth a side trip, please share your knowledge. In small-city Canada, we don't get much of a variety of, well, anything, and I would be most grateful if your help would allow me to bring back 24 wierd kinds of sweet beverage. =)

I seem to recall that a Shawn had a large store somewhere in Ohio... that would be a perfect start. But if you know a Wal Mart or convenience store that, for some reason, stocks oodles of Black Lemonade, Lolli's Cherry Pop, etc., you're my hero. =)

Thanks for anything. =)


05-06-2004, 07:54 PM
In Faifield, Ohio which is between Dayton and Cinncinati is a store called Jungle Jim's. Quite possibly one of the coolest stores around. Tons of pop as well as one of the best international groceries you will ever find. Tons of kitsch as well. Close to 1000 different hot sauces and a wine cellar to kill for. I can go there and wonder for hours, and fill my truck with pop and empty my wallet. A slick place, check out their web site.

05-06-2004, 10:35 PM
Went to Jungle Jim's last weekend. I was really disappointed with the soda selection. They must have been out of or discontinued 30 items. I have never seen the pickins so slim.

05-07-2004, 07:44 AM
Not a superstore, but it's usually worth the while to stop at a Cost Plus World Market, for Afri-cola among other things.

I agree with the Jungle Jim's recommendation. Hopefully they'll be fully in stock by then.

Be sure and check all the rooms for each country -- they each have a small selection of beverages in them.

In my travels throughout western Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey, I really haven't found any great places to find unique beverages. Something unusual here and there, but not a lot under one roof.

If you're in the area, there is a small store in Akron Ohio called West Point Market. Most of what they carry can also be found at Jungle Jim's, though.

05-08-2004, 02:55 AM
cost plus doesn't have afri anymore. i gotta wonder why, oh SS?...

05-10-2004, 06:12 PM
Did you try Fanta Squash Punch from Japan yet? ;)

Beverages & More have a great selection out west. Cost Plus is pretty good, but they seem to have less variety lately. You can also take a look at the various Big Lots & other discount places along the way.

Now, if I could just find Fanta Red Cream again...

Ron Swedelson
05-10-2004, 07:38 PM
Beverages and More is really a great place. Any wine, beer or soda you want, is probably in that store. Real Soda has done a great job in bringing to life the soda section. Hey, nothing can ever replace my diet coke, but as for a second choice, well there are 100's to choose from.

05-18-2004, 01:59 PM
Woodman's in IL has Sprecher's, Stewart's, Berghoff, Blumer's and Goose Island in glass as well as an entire isle of Faygo in plastic & cans.
(Carpentersville & Rockford)

Woodman's in WI has all of the above as well as O'Grady's, Gray's and a few others I can't recall.(many locations across the state - Milwaukee, Kenosha, Madison, etc...)

05-18-2004, 05:19 PM
It depends on the store and each individual business decision. Every store in a chain can carry specific items on customer request, and such. Every Food Lion seems to have different stuff, some of it is pretty cool stuff, so just hit a bunch of any chain you can find.

Consistently, I've seen the best selection at Kroger myself, but I've seen a lot of interesting stuff at a lot of different chains.

05-18-2004, 07:37 PM
one soda im really wanting to try is sprite blue from keroa

05-20-2004, 07:32 PM
Kroger does seem amenable to authorizing and carrying new and/or unusual stuff. Their stores are bigger and more space is available for stuff.

Food Lion is a good chain to hit to specifically see who's carrying what in that area. They put the distributor's name on the shelf tags, so even if it's produced by someone else, you know who distributes it (unless they put something vague like Pepsi Bottling Company or Dr Pepper Bottling).

But really, no stop is complete without hitting at least one truckstop or c-store in the area. I was in Carmel Church VA yesterday, and stopped at a Mr. Fuel truckstop. They had two single door coolers full of Faygo, Everfresh 18oz PET, and Fuze (even a Fuze aluminum can energy drink). Coke and Pepsi were CCE & PBG, so they were pretty boring.

I also see more longnecks and odd brands at c-stores. I generally avoid company owned chains like WaWa and Sheetz (in the Mid-Atlantic), since most of their stores are cookie cutter. Less so with Sheetz, since they do carry some unusual stuff, like CF Dr Pepper in the Staunton VA area.

Sometimes a cruddy-looking mom&pop type independent grocery store is a goldmine of weird stuff as well. I found grape Nehi 2L in Manteo VA the other day -- bottled by RC Chicago.

I have yet to find a real beverage store, like Jungle Jim's, Galco's or Beverages and More on the east cost. Stores basically sell what the local distributors distribute, plus their own house brands.

05-21-2004, 07:37 PM
In the richmond area of Virginia, if you are going on 95, you should see some signs for ukrop's, its a grocery store, but has a grille as well, They carry fizzy lizzy, and The Switch.

05-23-2004, 01:39 AM
Can anyone tell me what Jungle Jim's supposedly used to carry that they don't anymore? I'm a local, and I have been there a few times specifically for soda, with mixed results. I didn't really find a ton of things that I couldn't get elsewhere.

I can get Mexican Cokes at "The Party Source" which is a giant party/liquor/deli store just south of Cincinnati (Bellvue, KY). Their price is cheaper than JJ's for Mexi-Coke. They also have Afri-Cola and a number of other specialties from Real Soda. (If there is a liquor you cannot find elsewhere, they have it.) And their customer service cannot be beat smile.gif

I was just recently at Jungle Jim's (which is still a very neat place, BTW), and they have Mexican Coke, Sprite, and Squirt. They only had two Dutch Cokes left, and a lot of other holes. Apparently it isn't possible to get Mexican Pepsi-anything due to Pepsi making that so, according to their source. I have never seen Dublin Dr Pepper any time I've been there, but according to folks here I guess they carried it at one time. They had Dr. Pepper in "standard" 12oz glass bottles with the HFCS or Sucrose BS on them. I think they did actually have Afri-Cola, Jolt Cola, European Orange Fanta the last time I was there. Most of the other stuff I have seen available for sale elsewhere (Sprecher, Dr. Brown's, Hires RB, and that sort of good specialty soda).

05-23-2004, 01:51 AM
There's Mexican sodas all over the place here, considering that Texas is about 47% hispanic from what i've been told. And I love giant size convenience stores. It's always fun to find odd stuff there. If I need to get something that I can't find anywhere else, I just go to a store in Dallas called Ifs, Ands, and *****. They have a fantastic selection. It's the only place I ever saw RC Draft Cola at. I only got a couple before it was no longer available.