Three native Bronxites are bringing their own flavor back to the Bronx, igniting peoples’ taste buds with the old school flavor of fountain soda.
Sitting on the stoop of 2315 Cambreleng Avenue, Nick d’Aragona and Ralph Rubino were reminiscing about their youth and the memories of their favorite fountain soda.The result of their trip down memory lane became the product sold today throughout the borough, known as Bronx Pop.
“I’m a big fan of soda and grew up in the neighborhood,” said d’Aragona.“We were sitting around with my uncle and we wanted to come up with a concept no one else had thought of and we started thinking of the fountain soda they used to make at local candy stores.”
Immediately the duo took action, contacting d’Aragona’s cousin Tony Banacore, who brought in Doro Food as a partner to make their dream a reality.Beginning with just a small batch just for themselves and neighbors, the group soon saw the potential in mass-producing the product.
Hours were spent taste testing and tweaking their product in order to capture the perfection they were going for.Through the help of an associate, they began bottling their product, using only glass bottles that do not affect the flavor.
“We wanted to stick to that traditional old-time taste,” said d’Aragona.
Today Bronx Pop distributes 150 to 200 cases a week to various stores throughout the tri-state region, offering Black Cherry, Root Beer, Grape, Orange Cream and Lemon-Lime Ricky.
But they don’t plan to stop there.According to d’Aragona, they are in the process of looking for warehouse space and hope to contain the entire operation in the Bronx; sticking to their roots and creating potential jobs for Bronxites.
Bronx Pop is made with all natural ingredients, carbonated fresh spring water and pure cane sugar.
The product was recently launched during the Ferragosto festival in Little Italy, giving the community a chance to enjoy the pure Bronx flavor.
“There was not one person who said they didn’t like the soda,” said d’Aragona.“I think Ferragosto was very exciting and I think a lot of people really enjoyed the product.”
They have also met with borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. to discuss his support of their product, which will be used at some of his future events.
Bronx Pop is available in stores throughout the Bronx and online at www.bronxpop.com.