History

Spring-Grove-Soda-Pop-Old-Bottling-Photos

Ice Cream Parlors & Soda Jerks

The history of Spring Grove Soda reaches all the way back to 1895. Spring Grove pharmacist G.G. Ristey had a soda jerk as part of his drug store, much like other small-town druggists of the day. He took particular pride in the soda drinks that he served. Many of his customers began to ask to buy soda they could take home to enjoy, so…

Spring-Grove-Soda-Pop-sold-at-local-restaurants_-photo-from-late-1930s_Photo-Courtesy_Shirley-Evenson-Woods

Partners

…Mr. Ristey partnered with his brother-in-law, the town veterinarian. The two of them purchased what was then state of the art bottling equipment and began producing enough soda to meet customer demand. Spring Grove Soda Pop was sold locally in venues such as Evenson’s Restaurant. While the soda operation grew, so did both the pharmacy and the veterinary practice. Balancing all of that became a bigger challenge by the month, so the partners made a fateful decision…

*Photo courtesy of Shirley Evenson Woods

Morken-Family

New Ownership

…and sold their thriving bottling operation in 1913 to Henry and Leonard Halvorson. The company was then sold in 1929 to Charles Casterton and Dewey Goldberg. As business continued over the years the company changed bottle and label designs, added new flavors; but kept the original flavor recipes and bottling tradition alive…

Morken-Family-2

Family Business

…when in 1964, local entrepreneur Arnold Morken purchased Spring Grove Soda Pop. At the time, Arnold was also an owner of the local Pabst Blue Ribbon beer distributorship. Mr. Morken was able to take advantage of the fact that he already had a distribution network, and included Spring Grove Soda along with his company’s regular beer deliveries. The Morken family continued in this fashion for a good number of years…

*Photo courtesy of KSMQ Off 90

Spring-Grove-Soda-Pop-Owners

Family Business Continues

…until Arnold’s son Roger and Roger’s son Eric decided to completely focus on the very demanding beer business. At that time, the Morken’s knew the soda business could be even more successful under someone who focused only on that. They decided in 2003…

*Photo courtesy of KSMQ Off 90

Bottling Equipment

A New Beginning

…to sell the Spring Grove Soda operation to the Hansen family. While Bob Hansen kept his job as a timber buyer while also working in the soda business, his wife Dawn set about the arduous task of computerizing and reorganizing the entire operation. The Hansen’s also reimagined all of the bottles, labels, and packaging especially when…

*Photo courtesy of Erik Daily; LaCrosse Tribune

PBR Truck

Restoration

…they made contact with Spring Grove native, Ove Fossum, restorer of the Model-T truck that became the symbol of Spring Grove Soda Pop’s longevity and quality throughout its 120 year history. The Hansen’s then expanded their flavor portfolio by adding…

The Sugar Shack Store Front

Keeping it Local

…Rhu-berry, a flavor created for the Lanesboro Rhubarb Festival. The flavor stuck around due to popular demand. The tart rhubarb flavor combined with the sweet strawberry taste created a perfect blend that soda lovers raved about. The success of Rhu-berry began to expand Spring Grove Soda Pop and in…

rhuberry

New Gear

…2014 Spring Grove Soda Pop began using a new bottling line which enabled the company to  increase production exponentially, as well as contract bottle for various companies. This also enabled them to participate in…

MN State Fair 2017

The Minnesota State Fair

…great events like the Minnesota State Fair. Spring Grove Soda Pop continued to gain in popularity throughout the Twin Cities and beyond, but we never forgot our local roots, so…

MN State Fair 2017

The Sugar Shack

…on May 12, 2017 Spring Grove Soda Pop opened our first retail outlet, The Sugar Shack, in (of course) Spring Grove, Minnesota. The Sugar Shack provides a nostalgic experience of an old-style soda shop and candy store, while…

Continuing the Tradition

…Spring Grove Soda Pop continues the company’s original bottling traditions, crafting nine old-fashioned pure cane sugar soda flavors in small batches made to order.