The name “Pepsi” first originated in 1898 when Caleb Bradham, a North Carolina pharmacist, renamed “Brad’sDrink”, a carbonated soft-drink he created to serve his drugstore’s fountain customers. From these humble beginnings, the Pepsi name survived bankruptcy, the Great Depression, two World Wars, and several ownership changes to become the multi-billion dollar corporation that exists today.
G & J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, Inc. is a privately held, family owned bottler, producing and distributing Pepsi-Cola and Dr Pepper products in Ohio and Kentucky.
The G & J story began in 1925 in Cincinnati, Ohio when two women named Nell and Esther worked in the office of the Grand Pop Bottling Company. During the early stages of the depression, the owners of Grand Pop decided to sell the company. Nell and Esther and their boyfriends, Walter Gross and Isaac Jarson decided to become equal partners in the company and each put in 25% to purchase the Grand Pop Bottling Company. In the coming years, Nell married Walter Gross and Esther married Isaac Jarson. In 1935 a representative of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company called the Grand Pop Bottling Company and offered them a Pepsi franchise. Walter and Isaac decided to try it and began production several months later. Soon thereafter, the Company changed their name to The Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Cincinnati. The product sold remarkably well because the bottle contained twice as much product as their competitor, Coke, for the same price. That became one of the early advertising slogans: “Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you, twice as much, for a nickel too”.
Throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s, production plants were built in Hamilton, Ohio and Lexington, Kentucky and the Portsmouth franchise was purchased. The business prospered, but in 1955, the Pepsi-Cola Company told them they needed a new production plant in Cincinnati. Issac was in ill health at that time, and rather than go into heavy debt, they decided to sell the Cincinnati franchise portion of the business.
The Columbus franchise came onto the market in 1963 and was purchased and became the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Columbus, a division of G & J. Our current location, originally a warehouse, was converted to a production facility and opened on October 23, 1965. Originally there were sixty route trucks and 175 employees in Columbus. The Zanesville franchise was purchased in 1991 and as of 2002 there are a total of 650 employees in the
Columbus and Zanesville locations. The Company continued to expand and now employs over 1600 employees, including members of both families, in twelve locations, including four production plants. There are 9 family members currently working in the business (2 second generation, 7 third generation).
G & J Pepsi is proud to be a soft-drink industry market leader!