The Pepsi-Cola story itself begins with a drugstore in New Bern, North Carolina, and a pharmacist named Caleb Bradham. Bradham's aim was to create a fountain drink that was both delicious and healthful in aiding digestion and boosting energy. You might be interested to know that Pepsi got its name because it was originally marketed as a treatment for dyspepsia. Bradham advertised it as free of the impurities found in many bottled health tonics, and promising that it would contain none of the stronger narcotics often added to popular fountain drinks.

The basement of Bradham's drugstore housed the new site of Pepsi-Cola syrup manufacturing. Opting to found his new business on a small, controllable level, Bradham set up his operation in well-known territory. Ingredients were carried “downstairs to cramped quarters where they were mixed together and then cooked in a large kettle. The syrup was next poured into one-gallon jugs and five-gallon kegs to be shipped to customers.”

Like most pharmacies in 1896, Bradham's drugstore had a soda fountain where the clientele of the rural community would meet to hang out. Bradham's business even featured a kind of primitive jukebox and for five cents customers could be entertained with the most recent musical selections given by violin or piano or both. It was at such genial gatherings that Bradham would present his latest creation. Eventually, one of his recipes became known as Brad's Drink and soon member of the press declared, "It has sparkle and just enough acidity to make it pleasant". In next to no time its popularity exceeded the boundaries of the New Bern. Community.

By 1902, the orders from surrounding drugstores swelled so spectacularly it dawned on Bradham that his Pepsi-Cola recipe was something unique. On December 24, 1902, he filed incorporation papers with the state of North Carolina indicating that he had plans for corporate branches in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York


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