Galco’s Soda Pop Stop is a store in Highland Park, LA, with shelves full of an incomprehensible array of soda (and beer!). But it’s not just a novelty: it’s a trip back to a time when soda pop was a craft industry like modern microbreweries, and the entire nation wasn’t hooked on corn syrup.
Tom Scott has a fun look around the store, a family grocery business that was started in 1897, and turned towards sodas by owner John Nese 15 years ago. These days, it stocks 700 different varieties of soda, from the original Moxie’s to a brand-new cucumber pop.
Nese’s enthusiasm for soda, something that most people think of as Coke-or-Pepsi, is infectious: he talks about different brands like a sommelier explaining grapes, and his disdain for corn syrup accurately mirrors my feelings about boxed wine.