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Soda Pop Shops in T.O.?

Anyone know of any shops that are similar to Galco's Soda Pop Stop shop in L.A.? It's a store that only sells soda pop mainly from independent small time bottlers. Some of the bottlers are quite old having started early in the 1900's and still bottling their sodas in glass bottles. I've tried Boylan's, Jone's, Seamans, but the Soda Pop Stop shop has over 500 varieties. It's hard finding pop that's made with sugar and NOT that cruddy corn syrup. I once stopped into a West Indian take out shop in the east end and they sold Coke bottled in Trinidad and it was made with cane sugar. OMG the difference between the corn syrup slop and this real Coke was undeniable. The Trini Coke was bottled in small glass bottles. The flavours were just stronger and it had a smoother finish.

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  1. I assume you watched the obsessives vid here. I've been searching and I have yet to find a place w/ a varied selection. :(

    Which shop did you find Trinidad Coke in?

    The latin shops in Kensington will have Mexican Coke/Pepsi/Jarritos etc. I've seen Fanta and such on the Indian section of Gerrard.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aser

      Great video and you can see the passion in the owner's eyes when he talks about all the different brands. I was lucky enough to have found Kosher Coke in T.O. during Passover a couple of years ago and it was by accident (never even knew there was even such a thing). I just remember the yellow cap and as the video stated, there is a difference between regular Coke and Kosher Coke made with cane sugar.

      As for the Trini Coke, it was in a small West Indian take out spot in a plaza at Morrish and Ellesmere. Not sure of the name. I went back a couple of weeks ago and they were only carrying regular Pepsi. No Trini Coke anywhere. The bottle I believe held only 355ml and you needed a bottle opener. Nothing like old school Coke.

    2. There is usually glass bottled pop or soda at Costco. Last year it was Jones, this year Pop Shoppe.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jayt90

        Costco though is very limited in what they carry. I think those brands are as small time as Costco will carry. I have found Pop Shoppe a bit too sweet for me.

      2. closest place I've found (heard about it in a post about Vernor's) is
        Soda Pop Central in Whitby.

        http://www.sodapopcentral.com/index.html

        3 Replies
        1. re: paulcol

          Way to go paulcol! I think I'll just drop in for a visit some time tomorrow. I have noticed that a few of their selections use corn syrup, but it was nice to see a couple of the brands using cane sugar.

          1. re: paulcol

            Thanks for this find, I'll have to go there soon!

            I went to Galco's in Los Angeles when I was in town on business last October and the place blew me away. Bought some of that Dublin Dr. Pepper that often gets discussed online and on TV, and some Guarana Antarctica from Brazil -- anybody know who carries those here?

            1. re: paulcol

              I was just there yesterday and picked up a whole mess of pop including various flavours of Boylan's, Capt'n Eli's, Virgil's, Avery's, Jackson Hole, Sparkys, Moxie and GUS (Grown Up Soda)

              Tried the Virgil Root Beer, awesome stuff. Complex aroma and hint of sweetness, very refreshing and easy to drink unlike mass market pop.

            2. If you go to the Soda Pop Stop website they do ship internationally, but it's probably a bit pricey.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rapsrealm

                Sort of. I read their faq and it states that UPS will NOT ship internationally so the only other option is USPS. Going this route you'll be risking damage to your order and remember most of the pop are in glass bottles.

              2. If you want the Kosher coke for passover made with sugar it is available in most major grocery stores in North York along Bathurst st. and Grocery stores in Thornhill. Only available around March or April whenever passover falls.The reason they use sugar for this particular run is that corn products are not to be consumed during the 8 days of passover.Try it ,WOW what a difference. A nice almost caramel floavour.
                As for othe drinks like the ones seen at Galcos it is hard to come by these drinks because there is no french language on the labels and are not allowed to be sold in this country.

                1 Reply
                1. re: fanboy

                  The ban on corn, which Sephardics don't observe, does not guarantee cane sugar. A couple of years ago, the Passover coke in Toronto stores was made with glucose/fructose, which is pretty much the same thing as HFCS.

                  We don't get as much HFCS as in the US because it isn't heavily subsidized here, but "glucose/fructose" does not specifically require the use of corn.

                  Coke sold in different markets has had different levels of sweetener, presumably to meet local tastes. I don't know whether this is still true. I can accept that the Canadian Passover Coke may taste subtly different, but is it really "better"?

                2. I now of a couple places to find good sodas, Not quite a solely-pop based but with good selection.
                  The Sam's convenience store has a pretty nice selection, Pop Shoppe, Jones, Stewart's, which is at the corner of College and Augusta (Just east of Spadina). And just a block South on Augusta is a huge co-op store called the Blue Banana which has a really swell pop store right inside the door on the left. (to get specific, it's the second shop on the left, I believe). They have Boylan's and other gourmet-type soda brands with a bunch of flavours.

                  I also know of a cafe that has quite a Boylan selection, at Follis and Bathurst (2 blocks north of Bloor) called the Scoop and Bean.

                  I guess I'm quite a bit late, though, aren't I?

                  1. This is not a soda shop, but I thought some of you aficionados might be interested in an unusual soda I saw last week at The Kitchen Table. It's Hibiscus Soda. I believe the brand was Ooba (or something similar). I didn't try it but if this appeals to you, I would grab some ASAP. They usually sell these types of things as a limited time special. They also have Jones sodas on sale for 99 cents.