The Pop Shoppe was one of America's first "big box" chains, first opening for business in the '70s. Each Pop Shoppe was a warehouse filled with crates upon crates of 10 oz bottles of pop. The gimmick was you'd grab an empty case and fill it with 12 or 24 bottles of whatever pop you wanted. Pop was, apparently, cheaper to buy this way. That was one draw. The other was the wide variety of flavors and the mix 'n' match approach. The pop came in a variety of flavors: cola, ginger ale, grape, orange, cherry, lime rickey, lemon lime, cream soda, grapefruit, trout, and, how could I have forgotten, root beer. The bottles themselves were these entirely cute stout glass "stubby" bottles with a red and white pinstriped label.

The chain was quite successful for a time but in the '80s other retailers started selling pop in "mass quantities" on the cheap. 7-11 introduced the Big Gulp and then dared to inflict America with the temptations of the Super Big Gulp. Wal-Mart began selling cases of Coke on the cheap as a loss leader. As well, Cott Cola started producing cheap soda for grocery store chains, under cutting Coke/Pepsi. In short, if you wanted to buy a pail of sugar water for next to nothing, you no longer had to drive half way across the city on a saturday to some industrial mall to get it. Christ, Doug, it's right there on the grocery store shelf.

Interestingly enough, The Pop Shoppe was not the only victim of the Wal-Mart/7-11-ization of the pop industry. Many "regional" sodas have disappeared like Mr. Fizz, Whistle, and Pep Up. Other regional sodas have hung on like Moxie, Faygo Redpop, and Vernors.

The Pop Shoppe is all but dead these days, save for collectables sold on Ebay and the odd half empty case you might be able to find under some saw dust and spider webs in your grandmother's basement. There is, apparently, still an operating Pop Shoppe in Canada.