Ben and Perry Feigenson, formerly bakers in Russia, began Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works on November 4, 1907. Their original flavors, Fruit Punch, Strawberry and Grape, were based upon their own cake frosting recipes. That is why these, and the flavors they developed later, were (and still are) so unique. They produced the soda one day, closed the factory the next day, loaded the product on a horse drawn wagon, and sold it for three cents or two for a nickel. They and their families lived above the plant. In the winter, when little soda was sold, they supplemented their incomes by selling bread and fish.Later, when the Feigenson families moved into individual homes, they hired their first employees, bought their second horse and added Lithiated Lemon and Sassafras Soda (Root Beer) to their product line. They began calling the product "pop," because of the sound made when opening the bottle.
The brothers bought their first delivery truck, a 1922 Ford. New products were Rock & Rye (which immediately became a must with a corned beef sandwich), Vanilla, and Seltzer from a siphon bottle. They initiated home deliveries in 1923
The brand name changed to "Faygo" in the 30s, and after that, in 1935, moved to the current Detroit location. A unique Fruit Punch flavor was created, based on angel food cake, with real grape juice. The Orange flavor also saw the addition of aged orange juice.
In the 40s, the family hired W. B. Doner's advertising agency and created a new Root Beer and introduced "Up Town", a lemon-lime soda. After that, "The Faygo Kid" appeared on television, with the famous Detroit line, "Which way did he go? Which way did he go? He went for Faaaaaaygo!".
Also appearing on TV was "Herkimer the bottle blower", who was "too pooped to participate" until he drank Faygo Uptown. Also during this time, there was a significant upgrading of the production facility, including a state of the art water treatment.
n the 60s, Strawberry Soda changed to "Redpop." and a full line of Diet items was introduced, which soon accounted for more than 50% of Faygo's overall business. Also introduced was Frosh, Faygo Brau and Chateaux Faygeaux, but only Frosh remains today.
In the 70s, Faygo became pioneers of one way bottles, twist off caps and warehouse distribution. "Gildersleeve" led Faygo's hit television commercial, "Faygo Boat Song." The song rose to #3 in the popular music charts and 75,000 45rpm records were sold for $0.25 each. Alex Karras, Detroit Lions star, becomes the spokesman for Faygo diets.
Faygo marketed specially treated water, launching a line of flavored sparkling waters and in 1987, Faygo was purchased by National Beverage Corp. of Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
New in the 90s, Faygo introduced Cherry Festival, made with real Michigan cherries, and named for the annual Traverse City, Michigan event. In 1996, Faygo launched its first effort with non-carbonated products. Named "Ohana," (Hawaiian for "family"), there are Punch, Orange Punch, Lemon Iced Tea, Lemonade and Kiwi-Strawberry. Faygo also introduced Arctic Sun, a non-alcoholic wine cooler in a unique blue 2 - liter bottle.
Above: Faygo Quality Beverages. 12oz. ACL.