Spring Grove Soda Pop clarifies points in letter
Wednesday, February 08, 2017 10:16 AM
This letter is in response to Nancy Nelson’s letter to the editor of Jan. 25.
We are typically not ones to write letters to the editor; however, once again, Nancy Nelson is forcing an issue she knows nothing about.
Spring Grove Soda is just looking for a place to expand our business as we currently have nowhere to build on our current site.
Being in a residential area, a block away from the school and daycare center, is not very conducive to having semi-trucks come in to load or unload 3-4 times a week.
Also, the other businesses that may be available to purchase, will not meet our needs even with renovation, and they are still in residential and high-traffic areas.
In 2003, we were at a crossroads in our careers and looking for a small family business to buy. Spring Grove Bottling Works was up for sale, and we thought this iconic local business was just the challenge we were looking for.
We had our apprehensions but also our dreams, to not only make this our business, but to sustain it for generations to come.
The response from the community was overwhelming. Everyone seemed to be on board with our plans, and the future was looking bright. It seemed like such an easy dream to improve on distribution and take this soda national.
Little did we know, how difficult that would be. Countless times, we were turned down by distributors within our tri-state area, but we kept plugging along.
For years, the business hung on by a shoestring, but we kept plugging along. When we couldn’t pay the bills, we dipped into our personal savings, home equity and retirement accounts, but we kept plugging along.
When our 1950’s equipment just couldn’t be fixed any longer, we had to refinance and do a complete overhaul to upgrade the plant; we kept plugging along.
With a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, that almost-breaking-point of overhauling the plant turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
It gave us the ability to expand into the contract bottling market. Contract bottling also opened a few doors for our soda, allowing us to go from three employees to 12 and still growing.
There were numerous times throughout the years that we could have taken our losses, licked our wounds and given up.
This community has a small core set of business people and like-minded individuals that continue to work on making our community a viable place for young families to come and live, just like we did 32 years ago.
How many other small towns of our size can boast about the numerous businesses we have lining our streets including its own soda pop factory?
This is something special. All this would not have been possible if the powers that listen to the negativity of the few that worry about themselves and not the community as a whole.
Again Spring Grove Soda is at a crossroads, we need to expand to accommodate all of the contract bottling and keep up with the demand our own soda is producing.
The secret is out – Spring Grove Soda is loved throughout the United States not just in and around Spring Grove. Where do we go from here?
Does the EDA and the city council take the plunge and put in the sewer to the industrial park or does it listen to the venom that Nancy is spewing forth?
Don’t be fooled, Nancy has her own agenda that had more to do with what is right for Nancy that what’s right for the community.
Does Spring Grove Soda Pop progress or do we stand still like it did for 108 years?
Make no mistake about it, we don’t have any problem with the EDA selling those lots to Ellingson Elevator. We would welcome it. But don’t be surprised if this business of the sewer isn’t revisited again in a few years, when the distillery has out grown its current location and has to expand as well.
We have always told our children, “find your own Spring Grove” – a community you can fall in love with, friends you can make a lasting relationship with, a community that is more about the community than the individual. A place you can call home and raise your families just as we have raised ours.
Bob & Dawn Hansen
owners of Spring Grove Soda Pop – Spring Grove