Sitting on the stoop of 2315 Cambreleng Avenue, Nick d’Aragona and Ralph Rubino were reminiscing about their youth and the memories of their favourite 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 neighbourhood,” 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 neighbours, 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 glass bottles.
“We wanted to stick to that traditional, old-time taste,” said d’Aragona.
Bronx Pop distributes 150-200 cases a week to various stores throughout the tri-state region, offering Black Cherry, Root Beer, Grape, Orange Cream and Lemon-Lime Ricky. Yet, they don’t plan to stop there. According to d’Aragona, they’re 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 flavour.
“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’ve 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.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020