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Sunday, February 1, 2015

The "It Really Was A-Treat" Story

The empty shelves at the Giant Supermarket.
Most of what remains is Diet drinks which were
never a big seller, at least for my family.
It was an ordinary day.  Just walked out of the Giant Supermarket with three bottles of A-TREAT Cream Soda.  Doesn't mean much to some of you, but to me it was a big find.  Read in the newspaper early today that the A-Treat Bottling Company from Allentown, PA has shut its doors and ceased operations.  I read the entire article several times to take in all that was said, then told Carol I better head to Giant to get a couple bottles of Cream Soda before they are all gone.  Well, the first Giant, two blocks from our house, had already been cleaned out of a few of the favorite A-Treat flavors including my beloved Cream Soda, so I headed to the next Giant about a half mile away.  Found the three bottles at the back of the A-Treat section and loaded them into my shopping cart.  
My find of 3 bottles of my favorite Cream Soda.  Gonna keep
one for myself and give one to each of my sons who also love it.
If you notice the bottle on the right has less soda in it.  Carol
believes that is probably the very last bottle of Cream Soda they
ever made and ran short on soda before they bottled it.  A rare find!
Could fetch a hefty price on eBay!!
For years my family enjoyed the A-Treat brand sodas.  Our favorite flavors were, besides the Cream Soda, grapefruit, grape, orange and black cherry. Carol told me that the Parish Resource Center where she once worked would make a Christmas punch of a container of vanilla ice cream and a bottle of the Cream Soda.  People loved it!  The A-Treat company began in 1918 when brothers John and Jack Egizio used recipes they had formulated and opened their business in the garage of their Allentown home. The young teenagers delivered their soda by bicycle at first.  The company grew because it used essential oils and cane sugar rather than extracts and high fructose corn syrup.  They eventually built a small manufacturing plant behind their home and later moved to a larger facility where it remained until their closing this week.  There was talk that the company might close after they stopped dealing with Walmart because of Walmart's demand to resupply store shelves every day.  The closing idled 40 workers.  
Photo from their website of their factory.
My family loved the flavor of the sodas and they were a treat that we could afford.   At first we bought their sodas in glass bottles before they switched to the plastic bottles.  I got online and found A-Treat products had hit eBay already.  A 3-liter bottle of the Cream Soda had sold for $49.99 while another had a "buy it now" price of $59.00.  Found glass bottles of varying sizes, wooden soda boxes and even cans of the product for sale.  Just might have to head back to the store again and see if they have anything left on the shelf that I could try and sell for the outrageous prices that the product is selling for online.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy. 

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