Buffalo Behind the Scenes: Johnnie Ryan Soda

Buffalo Behind the Scenes: Johnnie Ryan Soda

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NIAGARA FALLS, NY (MB) — For almost 100 years, the Janik household has been bringing some sweetness to Western New York.

Whether or not you want your Johnnie Ryan Soda in a glass bottle or from the fountain, it is made proper in Niagara Falls.

“A typical day right here includes every little thing. We’re making the soda, we’re bottling it, we’re engaged on the manufacturing line, we deal with the design of the product – actually each side of it,” mentioned firm vp John Janik.

In 1935, three brothers – John, Steven and Walter – determined it was time to take their ozonated water enterprise to the subsequent degree.

“My Uncle Walt had owned his personal Coca-Cola route, so he would exit and peddle Coca-Cola,” mentioned Johnnie Ryan president Paul Janik. “As time went on and Coke grew, they needed to deal with colas they usually dropped their line of flavors, which he noticed a gap out there for that. So already being form of in a bottling water enterprise, they began the Johnnie Ryan firm.”

The corporate now has 11 flavors – together with cherry, cream soda and even birch beer – and is at the moment in its third technology, owned by brothers Paul and John.

“We spend lots of time collectively every single day,” Paul mentioned. “It is lots of blood, sweat and tears and we have made it occur.”

On a typical eight-hour day, Johnnie Ryan Soda pumps out 2,000 circumstances – that is 48,000 bottles of soda.

It is also all completed within the iconic glass bottle.

“It is one thing particular, and for youthful youngsters they love the bottle. However you even go to the older generations and this reminds them of being a child. That is how soda was,” Paul mentioned. “They’re lovely, painted bottles, which no person makes use of anymore as a result of they’re so costly. We spare no price in something that we do. We use all our outdated recipes for the Johnnie Ryan model – we have got a secret file within the again that was leftover from our uncles. It is simply lots of historical past.”

The corporate ships the bottles all throughout the nation and even into Canada, however that is not all their identified for. Whenever you order a cola – and even loganberry – from a few of your favourite Western New York spots, you may simply be consuming Johnnie Ryan soda.

Now the brothers are discovering different adventures within the soda enterprise with some well-known names.

After assembly Gene Simmons at a signing, Paul and John started a soda collaboration with the Kiss bassist off of Simmons’s trademarked Moneybag emblem.

“He is simply been probably the greatest enterprise companions. He goes on chain calls with me, we go to shops. He is so concerned and he loves doing it, he loves us and our households. We’re not ‘sure’ folks, we’re nerds like him,” Paul mentioned.

Now, with the fourth technology already in home, the Janik brothers are trying ahead to what’s subsequent for Johnnie Ryan.

“Coke and Pepsi are clearly the massive guys. However I believe the underside line is, Coke and Pepsi can by no means be Johnnie Ryan,” John mentioned. “You may’t purchase historical past. You may’t purchase neighbors and household and pals – that is form of what we’re.”

When you’ve got any concepts the place Minus Better ought to go behind the scenes subsequent, e mail us at newsroom@wivb.com.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been a part of the Minus Better group since 2019. See extra of her work right here and comply with her on Twitter.