By Jacob Jones
If you find yourself at a party in Detroit, it’s a safe bet that a fridge full of Faygo is somewhere in the vicinity. The Detroit soft drink has been a staple at bars, barbeques, and party stores since the company’s founding over a century ago.
Faygo owes its rich history to the two brothers who migrated to Detroit from Russia during the massive wave of immigration that hit the city around the turn into the 20th Century. The soda-pop industry was taking off in the United States at the time and the Feigenson brothers sought to break into the rapidly expanding Detroit market.
Out of a factory on the eastside of town, the brothers grew a bottling empire that seemed to expand at a scale equal to that of the city where they were based. The Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works (the company’s original name) quickly transitioned from a small operation that saw the brothers cleaning their own bottles, into a company whose growth matched that of the Motor City’s industrial boom. By 1912, the brothers were delivering their pop in a GMC Truck and less than a decade later, in 1921, the company changed their name to the simpler and catchier Faygo. By 1935, Detroit saw factories being built all over town and Faygo moved into their own state of the art factory and bottling plant on Gratiot, a location that they still call home today.
As Faygo grew, the company became more entrenched in the culture of Detroit. Baby Boomers may recall hearing the adventures of Black Bart and the Faygo Kid on their airwaves. The company struck up a sponsorship with the Detroit Tigers which would link the pop to Detroit’s team of the summer. As the company name recognition grew they were able to take the pop outside of its home market. After bringing in chemists to adjust the filtering system, Faygo increased the shelf life of their pop and began to sell their tasty beverages around the country.
But even as the company grew, they held onto what made them a favorite in the neighborhood bars and shops on the city’s eastside. The Detroit pop is known for its unique flavors. From the famous names like Rock & Rye, Redpop, and Moon Mist to the cult favorite Artic Sun, Faygo has created a loyal following from soft drink fans who want to taste something unique.
Faygo’s taste isn’t limited to what comes in the bottle. The Faygo logo is just as attractive as the bright red can that holds its signature drink. From the block font of the 80s to the Flying F logo of the 90s, the company’s look has continually been stylish and trendy.
The classic Faygo logos are now available on a tshirt. The legendary Detroit company has paired up with Pure Detroit to offer apparel that captures the Faygo spirit.
Pure Detroit has been offering Faygo in glass bottles to thirsty guests at their Fisher Building and Midtown Strathmore location for many years.
A recent guest at the Pure Detroit shop was excited to see the new shirts on display. “Its one of the iconic Detroit brands,” said the unnamed guest. “I’m excited to rep Faygo and everything it means to the city.”