Learn about Faygo, the last company standing in Detroit’s ‘pop alley’

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Hear the story of a pop, a people, and a place when the Brighton District Library presents a program on “The Faygo Book” from 7-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. Its stories, told by author Joe Grimm, will tickle the taste buds and memories of Detroiters and Faygo lovers everywhere. Grimm tells how a family forged a bond of more than 100 years with a city and its residents and became the last company standing in Detroit’s “pop alley.” At the end of the program there WILL be a pop quiz.

The story of Faygo, Detroit’s beloved soda pop, begins with two Russian immigrant brothers who were looking to get out of the baking business. Starting with little more than pots, pails, hoses, and a one-horse wagon, Ben and Perry Feigenson reformulated cake frosting recipes into carbonated beverage recipes and launched their business in the middle of the 1907 global financial meltdown.

It was an improbable idea. Through recessions and the Great Depression, wartime politics, the rise and fall of Detroit’s population, and the never-ending challenges to the industry, the Feigensons persisted. Bothers Ben and Perry gambled with the rambunctious flavor selections and called the drink “pop” despite the industry’s plea for a more grown-up name.

Their nostalgia and loyalty to their locally hired employees, many who stayed with Faygo for decades, were the values that made Faygo an integral part of communities across Michigan. Out of more than 40 bottlers in Detroit’s “pop alley,” Faygo became the last one standing.

The Faygo Book is a Michigan Notable Book for 2019. The Brighton District Library is located at 100 Library Drive, Brighton. Register by calling 810-229-6571 ext. 227. This program is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Brighton District Library.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

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