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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    303

    Unhappy Another Small Town Bottler Closes - Celo Bottling in WI

    I just received a few emails today concerning Celo Bottling in Sauk City, WI. Here is one of them:
    Please be advised that my Father George Koehler owner of the Celo bottling company passed away Dec 31 2006 and we have halted the bottling operation indefinitely.
    George had a pretty nice display of old bottles from Wisconsin bottlers that spanned the past 100-some years. This is also the place that sold Polka Cola.
    Looks like the US is down to 9 bottlers that refill retunable bottles (really 8 since it looks like New London Kist (also in Wisconsin) may have closed up shop also).
    RIP George.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Janesville, WI
    Posts
    770

    Default

    Ah damn... I was planning to drive up there and try to score some bottled sun drop...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Galaga View Post
    I just received a few emails today concerning Celo Bottling in Sauk City, WI. Here is one of them:

    George had a pretty nice display of old bottles from Wisconsin bottlers that spanned the past 100-some years. This is also the place that sold Polka Cola.
    Looks like the US is down to 9 bottlers that refill retunable bottles (really 8 since it looks like New London Kist (also in Wisconsin) may have closed up shop also).
    RIP George.
    Sorry to hear about George passing away. He was quite the character. I hope the family will start the bottling line up again or sell to someone who will.

    As for New London he told me 2 years ago that he was going to run it 1 more year and shut it down if he couldn't find a buyer.

    Wish I could purchase one of these two but with a wife and 2 kids it would be a tough thing to do.

    But you never know what the future will bring

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    303

    Default Update

    The son (Shawn) may do some bottling later. He told me that I could share this with you guys:
    I have been contemplating doing some limited “production” runs of Sundrop and strawberry and other requested flavors at some point as we still have concentrate, sugar and CO2 on hand. The returnable bottle inventory continues to decline through attrition so even if Dad was still with us I don’t know ho much longer he could have kept it going
    Its just a question of “when” I will have time for it and I /we don’t want to force it on my mom right away. She needs time to grieve and the memories bottling together with dad is just another thing that will probably take some time to heal. I helped run the bottling a good part of my teenage years and made many of the replacement parts for the bottler to keep it going through the years as I am a machinist engineer as my primary occupation. As far as the long term my mother wants to continue living there as long as she can and would enjoy the company if people just want to stop by and look visit and reminisce.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    303

    Cool Celo article

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran an article yesterday about the closing of Celo. JS Online: Sweet yesterdays . They also have a few photos on-line.

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