My short bio:I love soda and turned my family grocery store (started 1897) into a soda (and other beverages) only store 15 years ago. My focus is finding is stocking hard to find and niche sodas, thing from long ago. Do you have a had to find soda question? Or let's talk about your favorite soda!

My Proof:

Comments: 156 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

zoglog16 karma

I love going to Galcos and you're awesome to talk to John. Have you ever thought about doing a soda of the week/month club?

GalcosSodaPopStop13 karma

Yes we have thought of that...Logistics -- and PRICE of shipping -- gets in the way of making it reasonable for people. But we haven't given up on it yet! It would be a major endeavor for soda lovers in the US!

justgentile11 karma

John, I'm a huge fan of the shop and I bring my friends whenever they come into town. I'm really excited about the new make your own soda fountain. Can you tell us more about that and what the experience entails? Thanks for all the pop!

GalcosSodaPopStop12 karma

The Soda Creation Station is where anyone can come in and make their own soda. We have more than 80 syrups to choose from and it's easy and quick. $2.99 a bottle. The Girl Scouts were just in here making sodas!

SamTheSnowman8 karma

No question, just a statement. I bought a dozen sodas from you, and I loved all of them. Thanks for doing what you do.

GalcosSodaPopStop5 karma

You're welcome!

lichorat8 karma

What's the best way to get bubbles into a soda? (Ex. yeast, co2 cannisters, dry ice, Liquid Nitrogen, etc.)

What's the perfect co2 to non carbonated soda ratio?

What's the cheapest way to make soda?

How do you make a great tasting soda?

What do you have to say about the health effects of soda? (Because of carbonation, sugar, etc.)

What's your favorite thing to use your cell phone for?

GalcosSodaPopStop17 karma

Health effects of have to remember sodas started off in pharmacies as medicinal! Yes, carbonation was considered healthful. Coke's first water was from Lithia Springs a natural medicinal water. Now talk about sugar, back in the day, sodas were sold in 6 1/2 oz bottles - not BIG GULPS. They were considered treats, something special to be savored. NOT A COMMODITY. That's what you see with large sized, corn syrup sodas from big bottlers and fast food operations.

GalcosSodaPopStop11 karma

Bubbles in can brew the soda like beer and get your bubbles. Take 3-4 days. But you have to keep it cold to stop the fermentation. Second way is to use dry ice. It's break down, you get a real fine bubble that will stand up. That's what we call pin point carbonation. Red Ribbon sodas use this method and they are one of the few that do. Third time is a mechanical carbonation and it's the most popular method because it's the cheapest.

supercruiser6 karma

John - Your enthusiasm for history, recycling and overall outlook on how to do business are extremely admirable. Myself along with my wife and friends visit your store often and its the destination for just about any out of town guest we entertain. White Rose is one of our favorites- If there was one long "dead" brand soda you'd like to see revived, what would it be?

GalcosSodaPopStop9 karma

The last time I said my recommendations someone did it and it was HORRIBLE! :-( I don't want to name the front line bottler. I wouldn't call them "dead" sodas because so many of them are awaiting re-birth! I make suggestions to bottlers all the time, because I am on the firing line with my customers. Mr. Q Cumber started with us and it was named Soda of the Year in 2010

OddDude556 karma

I have been to your store in LA and I just want to thank you for providing such a great soda experience! Your personal soda recommendations and in-depth descriptions really made it a special trip. You are an idol of /r/soda!

GalcosSodaPopStop6 karma

Thank you!

InfernalWedgie5 karma

I think it needs to be said that Galco's has a staggering selection of beer.

GalcosSodaPopStop6 karma

Yes, we just ramped it up this year with our new beer coolers! Added 14 total doors of beer space. Check out our seasonal brews....arriving every day!

s_mw5 karma

Six questions come to mind.

  • What is the most expensive soda you sell?
  • If you sell Faygo, do you get a lot of those Insane Clown Posse people in the sotre buying it?

  • Do you sell Stewart's brand grape?

  • When you claim to be the only soda store in LA do you mean the only store who specifically sells soda as their majority product?

  • How good is business?

  • Do you offer specials?

GalcosSodaPopStop6 karma

Most expensive soda....hmm....have to think it. The one that comes to mind is the Virgil's Bavarian Nutmeg Root Beer in a swing top bottle. $3.99. Yes, we do have Stewart's grape soda. Reimes imported from France is also pricey -- also in a swing top cap. $4.99 for a 750 ml.

s_mw2 karma

Stewarts is pricey anywhere, but $5? That's insane. But those swing tops sodas are always overpriced.

Do you offer any black-cherry flavored sodas?

I quit drinking soda a longtime ago, and try my hardest to stay away from caffeine (I like tea). But there is this soda shop where my sister was living where you pick out what you want and they put it in a six pack for you. She got me this black-cherry soda and it was delicious.

GalcosSodaPopStop6 karma

Did you like the Original Dr Pepper from Dublin, Texas? If so, you may want to try the Dublin Black Cherry which has more black cherry on the front end and finishes like a Dr Pepper. Also try Hank's Wishniak Black Cherry. It's probably their best flavor.

CTYankee152 karma

Stewarts is $1.49 or something like that. THe $4.00 one is one of the uber fancy French sodas he sells.

He carries a number of black cherry sodas. I'm on a cherry soda kick right now and Virgil's is one of my favorites. Americana is another (they make the best Cream soda).

s_mw2 karma

Stewart's here is pricey, but I never buy soda.

That black cherry soda was delicious though.

I still want to know if he sells Faygo and if the ICP fans go in and buy it. I was being serious about that question.

GalcosSodaPopStop17 karma

No the majority of the people who buy Faygo are from Detroit and tell us they appreciate we sell their soda with pure cane sugar AND in glass bottles. ICP are looking for 2 liter plastic bottles and we don't carry those.

Bencool4 karma

What soda stands out to you the most from an aroma perspective?

GalcosSodaPopStop8 karma

The Sweet Blossom Rose - when you open the cap you can smell the roses! Honestly!

tmangat4 karma

No question. Just wanted to say thanks for doing what you do. I've only been to your shop once but I absolutely loved it!

GalcosSodaPopStop5 karma

Thanks! Come back!

TheThingy3 karma

I went to your store last time I took a vacation to California. I bought something called Brainwash Soda. I brought it home to my brother's house and opened it and accidentally got it all over the place. And the extreme blue food coloring made a mess. Then I tried the soda and it was one of the weirdest tasting things I have ever had. I didn't really like it particularly but I drank it. It turned my entire mouth blue for the rest of the day. It wasn't pleasant but it's a story I enjoy telling. All the other sodas I got from you were great though.

Anyway, if you could make a soda that doesn't exist, what would it be?

GalcosSodaPopStop3 karma

It's so hard to answer that question! But that's why we set up the Soda Creation Station because everyone has a different idea on what they want as an unique soda combination. We have syrups like Apple Pie, Chocolate, Peppermint, Pumpkin, Jasmine, Habanero Mango, name it, it's probably there!

theygotthemustardout3 karma

Thank you for having an amazing selection of cider! Do you have a personal favorite?

GalcosSodaPopStop3 karma

It's so hard for me to have favorites but many tell me they like Clos Normand. It's from France and very reasonably priced ($7.99 for 750 ml). We sell a lot of them and people are happy with it.

Mr_A3 karma

At what point did you think "I am going to start a soda only shop" - what led you to this point and what were the initial struggles/reactions? Did you expect it to be as bigger part of your life as it is now?

GalcosSodaPopStop8 karma

When you are going broke it's easy to make decisions. The hardest thing to do is to jump off the cliff! This store was my family's in 1940s and it was obvious we needed to change the store in 1990s because the super markets were buying the distribution channels and putting the mom and pop stores out of business. Huell Howser was responsible for helping launch the store as a soda pop business. So was LA Times food editor Charles Perry. Back then we were in a controlled collapse situation but we kept going just year by year. Every year pushes us forward. Even today!

CTYankee153 karma

Can you sell Caruso's Legacy Maraschino Cherry cola, please!?

GalcosSodaPopStop2 karma

I believe it's a made-up soda brand. I think it's just a gimmick....But hey, I could be wrong. I have never heard of it.

johnww22 karma

What are your opinions about the political climate for small family owned businesses?

P.S. I live in Northern California, but your store is a Mecca type destination when we wander down to L.A. Loved your video and everything you said in "Obsessives" / CHOW on youtube.

GalcosSodaPopStop6 karma

The problems is that we lump businesses altogether and the needs of big businesses are so different from small businesses. In small businesses, you need to know everything and be aware of all the hidden taxes that the consumer doesn't know are hidden taxes. The higher cost of an item doesn't mean we make more money! Hardly! Regulations are straggling small businesses!

mjbrslou2 karma


GalcosSodaPopStop12 karma

We in the US make some delicious sodas outside of Coke, Pepsi. If you like mint, try Plantation Style Mint Julep. You will have a completely a new taste experience and you'll be helping a small bottler who has been making this soda for more than 40 years!

bambadingo1 karma

What's the rarest soda you own? Or like to have?

GalcosSodaPopStop6 karma

Riki!!! It's an Artic black tar soda from Finland! It tastes like a very light cola with tar...people back in the day used to chew on tar. I would love to carry this in glass. Just about all the sodas in my store are in glass. Much better tasting!

VeryNeat1 karma

Do you have a house blend or a favorite combination?

GalcosSodaPopStop4 karma

No, we don't have a house blend but during our Summer Soda Tasting event we had entertainer Charles Phoenix create a POPTAIL which was Plantation Style Mint Julep and Mr. Q Cumber. It sure was good!

JoCitizen1 karma

I don't have a question, I just came here to say I love Galco's! You guys are the best!

GalcosSodaPopStop6 karma


orangebuttercat1 karma

you can only drink 1 soda/pop the rest of your life?

it is...

GalcosSodaPopStop7 karma

It would be the one I would make at my soda Creation Station!

CercaTrova61 karma

Hi, I drink a lot of soda here and while I have not bought any from your specific store (soon to change based on these comments though!) I would like to open a business like your own for the local folks here. For the specialty sodas, not Coke, Pepsi, etc, where do you find the suppliers? Do you buy directly from the factory or brand, or do you have a conglomerate middle man that handles getting the soda to your store? Thanks.

GalcosSodaPopStop5 karma

Remember we have been doing this for 15 years. It's take a long time to build up relationships with suppliers. We do wholesale and make sodas available to other small businesses. Wholesale website is under construction....stay tuned!

InfernalWedgie1 karma

I'm a local. Just wanted to tell you I love Galco's. I love the summer soda trading festival so very much!!!

GalcosSodaPopStop5 karma

Thank you! And all the proceeds went to support the reopening of the Southwest Museum! We enjoy putting this even on every year!

Toolazytolink1 karma

LA native here, do you have any events planned soon like Soda Tasting events? The wife and myself love trying new things.

GalcosSodaPopStop5 karma

We will have another Soda Tasting in 2014 toward the end of July. They have been very popular events -- and they are a LOT OF WORK!

Mr_A1 karma

What are the general rates on international shipping?

GalcosSodaPopStop4 karma

No general rate. Depends on where it goes. Europe and Asia, etc. different prices.

LiberDeOpp1 karma

Your opinions on the soda vs pop debacle? Please don't say coke.

GalcosSodaPopStop6 karma

Don't hate this answer. We call it soda pop! Most of Los Angeles calls it soda.

orangebuttercat-2 karma


LiberDeOpp1 karma

Thanks for answering! When I lived in the midwest it was pop, in STL it's soda. Do you use cane sugar vs corn syrup and is it really the same like farmers want us to believe?

GalcosSodaPopStop6 karma

It's not the farmers who say its the same. It's ADM, Con-agra and Cargill who tell you that. Corn syrup is NOT the same as cane sugar. However, they are pushing the idea that it all goes under the generic category of sugar. People coming from others countries, pick up a soda, like a Coca Cola and say, "What's wrong with this?"

[deleted]1 karma


GalcosSodaPopStop5 karma

The Coke we carry come from Mexico and is made for consumption in Mexico. It's made with Mexican pure cane sugar.

Docktorpeps431 karma

What is your most popular soda that is sold in your store? (Besides coke, pepsi, and other popular sodas that you can get anywhere)

GalcosSodaPopStop6 karma

Depends on the person buying it. Everyone has a different taste. We don't carry coke or pepsi from corporate USA. We do have Mexican Coca-Cola which comes from independent bottlers.

CTYankee150 karma

What are some sodas you would want to sell, but can't. Why can't you sell them?

GalcosSodaPopStop3 karma

Some little bottlers don't have CVR on their bottles and can't meet California labeling standards. Big Bend out of Pennsylvania is one - out of the Anderondicks. Club Matte from Germany is really good, but the bottler is so small and they can't export. It was a tea soda!

MGGall0 karma

Hi John - My fiance and I love your store and Blockbuster sandwiches.

My favorite soda I've discovered in your store is black cherry Jic Jac; but lately I'm on an orange soda kick, I've tried probably half-a-dozen now and still haven't found one better than good old Crush. What's your favorite orange soda?

GalcosSodaPopStop5 karma

I don't have a favorite - but you should try the Blood Orange Soda from Bunderburg. It's brewed like a beer and made with real fruit. You can see the pulp in the bottle. PLUS...we have a new old Crush here now. It's from Guatemala and made with pure cane sugar.