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Pepsi birthday bash held at La Crosse bottling center



Americans have been drinking Pepsi-Cola for 125 years…long before the soda was advertised in early radio jingles that promised “Pepsi-Cola hits the spot, 12 full ounces, that’s a lot.”

About the time that commercial was made in the 30’s, one La Crosse area company started selling Pepsi, and is still at it today.

Employees at Pepsi in La Crosse party outside the company’s local building on Monday

“Gillette Pepsi’s been around since 1937, started in Viroqua, Wisconsin when Norm Gillette Sr. started the business with one delivery truck, and since then, it’s evolved to La Crosse, Rochester, Minnesota, Mankato, and into Decorah, Iowa,” says Matt Kloss, the La Crosse sales manager for Pepsi.

Kloss and many other local staffers celebrated the company’s birthday Monday with a party at Pepsi’s La Crosse plant. He says Pepsi has branched out to sell many other products lately, including coffee, water, tea, and energy drinks such as Gatorade.

Pepsi’s facility on West Avenue even recovered from the tornado that swept through La Crosse in May of 2011.

The Pepsi plant near West Avenue was severely damaged by a tornado on May 22, 2011

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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