Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thirsty - Or Not!

untitled A trip to Palmer's Grocery Store with my mother was always fun because it usually meant I'd come away with a special treat.  Sometimes it was a Snickers or Butterfinger, sometimes a Nutty Buddy ice cream cone, but often it was an ice cold bottle of Grapette.

We didn't make trips to Palmer's often.  Mother had groceries delivered by Herman—once a day until we moved to "the country" and then two or three times a week.  So it was always a big deal to dig into the cold drink box at Palmer's for a bottle of Grapette, the best grape soft drink ever bottled.  Nu-Grape and Grapico don't even come close.

history_02 Grapette was invented in Camden, Arkansas, my hometown, by B. T. Fooks.  After getting into the soft drink bottling business in the 1920's, he began experimenting with a grape flavored soft drink in the 1930's.  Grapette officially hit the market in 1940.  The company later began bottling their syrups in animal shaped bottles.  These syrups could be mixed with tap water for an economical non-carbonated beverage.

grapette 003

The animal bottles are collector items today as is other Grapette memorabilia.  On a trip to Maine a few years ago, I came across this photograph of some old gasoline pumps.  There lurking in the background was a Grapette sign, so I snatched it up immediately.

The Fooks family sold Grapette in 1970, and by the 1990's the once popular soft drink had virtually disappeared from the U. S. market.  Today, thanks to another successful Arkansas company, Wal-Mart, Grapette is once again thriving in the USA.  So the next time you visit Wal-Mart or Sam's, pick up some Grapette, Thirsty or Not!

FAVORITETHINGSBUTTON Thanks to Laurie at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie for giving us a brand new meme—Favorite Things.  Grapette is definitely one of my favorite things, so I'm linking up.  Be sure to visit Laurie to see what others are sharing.

19 comments:

Baumbastic said...

I agree, I always thought that Grapette was the best Grape drink out there. I haven't had one in years.

Just Breathe said...

Thank you, what a great story. I am going to look the next time I'm at WalMart. The picture you found is perfect and what a great way to keep your memory going.

Malvie said...

Grapette, now bottled with pride in Malvern, Arkansas!

Same story here, except substitute Toler's Model Market for the name of the store. Toler's had wood floors, lights hanging from wires, and those big old "coke" boxes at the front. We'd go in, get Mrs. Toler to fix us baloney sandwiches (which she'd charge to my grandparents), grab a Grapette on the way out...

Good stuf.

Joycee said...

Loved Grapette, I've never seen the animal bottles though! Hv a grt wknd...
joyceee

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Kathy, what a neat "Favorite Things" post! I just love your childhood stories. I'm not sure I ever drank a Grapette, but after reading your description, I'm sure wanting one now. Your picture of the gas pumps is great! How neat that it had that sign on the window. When you stop to think about it, Camden was a really small town to have a pottery-making business and a soft-drink inventor! Thanks so much for joining the linkup today. laurie

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

I have never heard of Grapette!

arkie said...

Thanks for the memory! I always loved stopping by my grandfather's Texico station in our small town. He always let us get a coke and candy bar or Tom's peanuts. I sure miss one of the candy bars, a 7-up bar. Seven pieces of chocolate covered nuts and candy's in one bar.

Natasha said...

I have never heard of grapette but it must be great! When we holiday in America we love to have anything with a grape flavour, especially Welchs juice.

Best wishes for a lovely weekend,
Natasha, Stacey and Holly.

Sharlotte said...

Hi Kathy,
Thanks for the info on Grapette...I've never had it before but will be on the lookout for it next time I'm at Walmart! We use to visit relatives in Bentonville, Arkansas, is that close to your hometown?
Thanks again for sharing!
Sharlotte

John McCallum said...

Your article made me think of Uncle Doc Clem's bottling plant in Malvern and that wonderful concoction of his called R-Pep. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

John McCallum said...

Your blog reminded me of Uncle Doc Clem's bottling plant in Malvern and that wonderful concoction of his called R-Pep. Shoot! All his stuff was good. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thanks for sharing. Don't know that I have every had Grapette, but do remember the grape carbonated drinks at the movies. Loved those things.

nanny said...

I loved grapette, haven't had one in years....I'll bet they aren't as good as they use to be..seems as though they have to change the formula in everything...to make it better/ha

Susie Jefferson said...

Fabulous - so collectable!

Happy (belated) Pink Saturday - I'm still visiting....

Hugs, Susie

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Well now! I'll just have to look for that. Thanks for your sweet visit and comments on smocking. I just love those sweet little dresses -- they seem sort of timeless to me.

Sue said...

This is a cute post....We drink Stewart's Grape soda.....from the N.E......I love the photograph you found....black and white but with the gas pumps painted...very cool..

Jenny said...

I remember grapette, but my favorite was always coca cola. Nice trip down memory lane. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

hi, new to the site, thanks.

Anonymous said...

WORKED @ PALMERS ,,,,,, HERMAN WAS A FRIEND , DELIVERY TRUCK DRIVER AND WHATEVER NEEDED TO BE DONE IN THE STORE ,,,,, WAS AT PALMERS LATE 53 AND UNTIL SEPT 54 WHEN I JOINEFD THE AIR FORCE ,,,, LOTS OF MEMORIES ,,, MY FIRST JOB OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL ....DROVE A LITTLE YELLOW JEEPSTER AND LATER A GREEN STUDEBAKER ,,,,,, NICE SITE ,,,TKS FOR THE MERMORIES GARY WRAY