It all started in 1907 with two brothers, Ben and Perry Feigenson, Russian immigrants who had settled in Detroit, Michigan. Although they began as bakers, they decided to try their hand at making flavored soda. Using cake frosting recipes for ideas, they created their first three flavors – strawberry, fruit punch, and grape – and sold them to local drugstores and saloons. Customers loved the soda, which the brothers preferred to call “pop”.
A myriad of other flavors were created over the years. Many were discontinued, but there was always plenty of choice when it came to Faygo pop. Some of their unique flavors were: blueberry cream, golden ginger ale, honeydew mist, lime rickey, sassafras, and chocolate treat. This book is full of trivia about the business, which remains in Detroit to the present day. The Feigenson brothers showed no racial bias in their hiring. Here’s an excerpt from page 67:
In the neighborhood, Faygo was known for treating people fairly. Bill Camp, a black employee hired in March 1937 after being laid off from a foundry job because of a strike at Chrysler, recalled hearing about an early union-organizing campaign. Camp told the in-house Faygogazette in the summer of 1983, “a union was trying to organize Faygo. Mr. Perry Feigenson was agreeable. But then he found out that the union contract would require Faygo to get rid of black workers.” Camp said Perry told the union, “Go to hell! Faygo hires from the neighborhood around us. And that’s how we’re going to continue to hire whenever we can.”
What I enjoyed the most about this book were all the colorful pictures. They covered the span of a century, and made me feel quite nostalgic. While I rarely drink soda, it made me want to run to the grocery story and buy a Faygo pop!