Vernor's, then Faygo, then Towne Club...all delicious soda pops made here in Michigan.

This time around, let's give a cheer to Harold Samhat, the man who gave us Towne Club pop, as well as making it extremely more affordable than other soft drinks.

Harold began selling Towne Club pop in the mid-1960s in special “pop shops” where you could buy ANY flavor of Towne Club. Originating in Detroit, Towne Club pop was an alternative to the big name-brand pops like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, RC Cola, 7-Up, Squirt, and the others. Customers from the less-fortunate neighborhoods crowded into the Towne Club outlets to get this pop that they could actually afford on their stringbean incomes.

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With SO many different and unique flavors to choose from, many customers chose to buy by the crate-full: 24 bottles to a crate, at a cost less than two dollars. I remember going to a Towne Club outlet in Lansing off Cedar Street and getting a whole case of pop for $ joke. Then when you were done drinking all that pop, you took the empties and the crate back to the outlet, chose more flavors, filled the crate, and paid another buck-something. IT WAS A GREAT TIME TO BUY POP!

Towne Club succeeded in outdoing Faygo for a while, featuring more flavors and diet versions. So successful, they began selling in Florida, Indiana, New York, and Ohio.

Then, to my dismay, Harold sold the company in 1978...not even 20 years into production. In the mid-1980s, the pop outlets were all closed and sales faltered. Well, duh.

Fans still wanted the pop but couldn't find stores that sold it, even though there were some scattered shops that still stocked it. Thankfully, Towne Club pop made a little, sorta-successful comeback, selling pop in plastic bottles. But now, you can find Towne Club pop in many grocery outlets. I've seen it in Spartan stores, Meijer, convenience stores, Kroger, and gas stations - thankfully the pops are in GLASS bottles.....making it taste all the better than plastic.

But I sure do miss those pop outlets.....

Towne Club Pop Memorabilia


Forty-Eight Flavors of Faygo

Stroh's Beer Images

The Gravesite of James Vernor (Creator of Vernor's Ginger Ale)

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