Dr Pepper Be Damned, Dublin Bottling Works is Striking Back Against Big Soda

Categories: Food News

Dublin Dr Pepper.jpg
Leslie Minora
Jeff Kloster, owner of Dublin Bottling Works, didn't sit on his ass and sulk after his company's settlement with Dr Pepper Snapple stripped him of his top-selling product, Dublin Dr Pepper. The day after the news hit, he says, he picked up the phone and did the same thing he's done if one form or another for the past 40 years. He sold soda.

His angle is a little different this time, though. Instead of working as an appendage of the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Dublin Bottling Works is now a fully independent business, free to operate in the best interest of Kloster's lifelong passion: small-production sodas backed with top-notch customer service.

Kloster was in Dallas yesterday, hocking beverages with names like Big Red, Vintage Cola, Cherry LimeAid and Triple XXX Root Beer. Only he's not just selling sticky syrups and cases, he said. He's selling freedom, or Soft Drink Independence, as he calls the idea. It works like this:

dpDublin_logo.jpg
When an owner builds out a restaurant, he's given two equipment options when it comes to fountain beverage service. He can purchase the dispensing unit that mixes syrup water and carbonation, or he can lease it from one of the big soda distribution units. Coke, Pepsi and other large soda companies offer free or low-cost equipment to start-up businesses, as long as the equipment is used to serve that company's products.

The offer is attractive to cash-strapped start-ups because it saves significant coin. New machines can run $6,000 to $8,000, and larger machines with 12 heads and integrated ice-makers cost nearly $20,000.

But taking the free equipment robs each business of its ability to offer the products of small independent bottling companies. That's why Kloster is in Dallas. In addition to meeting with many small businesses to sell his revamped soda line, he just sold a refurbished fountain head to Jack Perkins at Maple and Motor.

Perkins exercised his soda independence immediately. He now offers an exclusive run of Dublin Bottling Works beverages and, on a single line, Diet Coke. Dublin currently doesn't offer any low-calorie sodas, but that's the beauty of the system: Perkins now has a choice. Dr Pepper Snapple group picked up his old fountain machine the same day.

In addition to Maple and Motor, Kloster also met with Chicken Express and other Dallas-based businesses. He said the response to his new line has been overwhelming.

And that response is spreading. In Austin, Patrick Terry will honor Dublin Bottling Works with a public event to mark the loss of the original Dublin Dr Pepper. Terry owns P Terry's Burgers Stand, a five-location burger business he started in 2005. His eye is on the future as well.

"We're going to look at Kloster's offerings," he said when asked if he'll continue to support the small Texas bottler. Terry built his business on a foundation of customer interaction, and says the decision to move away from Coca-Cola products will be no different. "We'll let the customers decide," he said.

The decision might be straightforward. Dublin Dr Pepper has been P Terry's number one seller since the chain first opened, and Kloster's new products promise similar appeal. How is that Triple XXX Root Beer, branded with crosshatches that used to denote the strength of real beer? "It drinks like cake," Kloster said.

Kloster hopes his current momentum will continue. Within two years, he hopes to recapture much of the business he lost in the settlement by continuing to grow his new product line. He hopes to hire back the 17 employees he was forced to lay off, and continue to expand the business his grandfather built.

But not without a caveat.

"It is not our goal to create a beverage company that is so large that our single focus is the bottom line," Kloster said, while conceding profitability is still important. "If that's who we become, we lost our way."

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161 comments
corkytwogun
corkytwogun

I used to love Dublin DP, picked up several cases every time I visited relatives in Comanche. I understand everybody hates to see it go, but I don't understand why everybody is so down on Dr Pepper/Snapple. I'm not going to try to lay out all the details in this forum, but Dr. Pepper/Snapple went out of their way to accommodate Kloster for decades. They were forced to take legal action when he refused to stop selling his product outside his designated sales area. If they hadn't taken legal action, they, themselves, would have been sued by numerous other area bottlers...and they'd have lost. A lot of people seem to be blaming Dr Pepper/Snapple's greed for the demise of Dublin Dr. Pepper, but the truth is, it was Kloster's greed and arrogance that cost him his Dr. Pepper distributorship.

corkytwogun
corkytwogun

I used to love Dublin DP, picked up several cases every time I visited relatives in Comanche. I understand everybody hates to see it go, but I don't understand why everybody is so down on Dr Pepper/Snapple. I'm not going to try to lay out all the details in this forum, but Dr. Pepper/Snapple went out of their way to accommodate Kloster for decades. They were forced to take legal action when he refused to stop selling his product outside his designated sales area. If they hadn't taken legal action, they, themselves, would have been sued by numerous other area bottlers...and they'd have lost. A lot of people seem to be blaming Dr Pepper/Snapple's greed for the demise of Dublin Dr. Pepper, but the truth is, it was Kloster's greed and arrogance that cost him his Dr. Pepper distributorship.

Singletonjim49
Singletonjim49

Whay about Frosty Root Beer....still have some old bottles I'd sure like to get refilled...but so far xounds great...looking forward to supporting Dublin's efforts whenever possible

Sleepinglion887
Sleepinglion887

If he manages to do this, then I will make my temporary boycott of Dr Pepper permanent, and he will have my business from now on. Spread the word, and may Dr Pepper Snapple group feel the consequences of their actions.

Catt12
Catt12

They need a Facebook page!!

Texasbob
Texasbob

Keep us informed of which places go with the new line and we will go to them first. I am drinking coke products now and not DP products.

jp
jp

Ask me about Dr Pepper Snapple - I worked there for 13 years....not a nice place

Leatenson
Leatenson

Interesting, and glad to see it happening.  By the way, I think you meant "hawking" as in sellling one's wares, instead of "hocking", as in pawning something.  Where will the rest of us be able to purchase the drinks?  What kind of ingredients will they have?

donna gafford
donna gafford

good for you! my guys love dublin dr, pepper! big industry greed at it's finest!-----> Dr.Pepper

Ouknowmetal
Ouknowmetal

Sticky it to the "man" dare to venture!

Donny McDermott
Donny McDermott

The new sodas are great. Just tried them tonight. Well worth the attention they're getting

Stoverkris
Stoverkris

Woo hoo, kloster is such a hero! He is so awesome that he was nice enough to NOT give the 14 employees that lost their jobs due to this any warning or notice of their layoff! I'm impressed! I'm 100% sure he never had any insight that he was about to be stripped of his right to sell dp since he was knowingly selling outside his territory! Of course, what you must remember, is that he was handed this operation, so he has never been the hourly worker just trying to get by. Some folks were born, silver spoon in hand!

Elmore1993
Elmore1993

Lets get behind this movement. Dr Pepper who?

Bigbrisket04
Bigbrisket04

I wont drink dr pepper snapple corp items anymore

Lyath0mas
Lyath0mas

As a born and raised Erath County resident I currently live in Denton and will be driving to Dallas to support my hometown and it's products!!! So excited!

Drover
Drover

Let's home Maple Motor get's rid of RC and get's Coke.   Nothing like a great Cheese Burger and a real Coke.

Texas001
Texas001

Hang in there Kloster. I have visited your plant in Dublin and still have the DR Pepper bottles we bought as mementos of the visit.  Illegitimi non carborundum.

Donny McDermott
Donny McDermott

I will hunt down this soda maker's product and patronize it.  Thank you for the article, which I recognize to be part of an ongoing saga.  The fortunes of small businesses are something we all need to take note of, given their importance to our national economy's health and prospects.

Sarah
Sarah

DOWN WITH DR.PEPPER! SAVE DUBLIN!

Tiana Hampton
Tiana Hampton

I think this is just wonderful. I love that our Texas companies are staying true to our great state. We took a trip to Dublin just last week to show our support and purchased some of DBW's great products to take home. For those who have not been to Maple & Motor, please go. It's a great joint and an even better burger. I get the cheeseburger with fresh grilled jalapenos, bacon as thick as my forearm and a side of onion rings. Jack is great! He cares about his customers and their experience. Like he says, if you don't like it, there are plenty of other places for you to go. But as I say, chances are, you'll love it and want to go back. I'm really excited that we can support Dublin from DFW!

Dorothy
Dorothy

I hope more businesses will cease this opportunity & make an independent choice to support Dublin Bottling Works!

J_loper25
J_loper25

Hey Jack from one business owner to another brush your shoulders off. These fools have no idea what its like to own and operate. Your burgers are great and kudos to u for striking back at those douche bag snapple pricks. Viva Dublin bottling company bitches!

J_loper25
J_loper25

Hey Jack from one business owner to another brush your shoulders off. These fools have no idea what its like to own and operate. Your burgers are great and kudos to u for striking back at those douche bag snapple pricks. Viva Dublin bottling company bitches!

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I wish DBW luck, these guys have amazing products that taste great AND are made with dedication. I may just take a trip out to the bottler myself soon and purchase a case or two of their tasty pops..

Mommamyres
Mommamyres

Too  bad you can't edit a piece and use spell check before you release it.  But Kudos to Kloster and Company.

Rdlee1963
Rdlee1963

 I will miss Dublin Dr Peppers, but I love the fact he is turning the situation to work in his favor.  I will buy whatever he sells and eat at the restaurants that are supporting him.

Rdlee1963
Rdlee1963

 I will miss Dublin Dr Peppers, but I love the fact he is turning the situation to work in his favor.  I will buy whatever he sells and eat at the restaurants that are supporting him.

Amanda Gillispie
Amanda Gillispie

I plan to be a the P Terry's event tomorrow, and I certainly hope they (and other places that used to carry Dublin on tap like Cabo Bob's and Hoboken Pizza) continue with the goods out of Dublin.  Their real sugar Big Red, NuGrape and Cherry Limeade are all phenomenal...

imlateagain
imlateagain

Are these products going to be in cans and bottles and sold locally? Especially the root beer, and the orange cream. I can't wait! Just tell me where to go to buy it.

Commenters have a point
Commenters have a point

Amazing that a post about Dublin Bottling Company turned into a, look at me, I own Maple & Motor and you sit at home in your underwear.  

Culpritkirk
Culpritkirk

Very intersting. I know someone who is shooting a documentary about all of this and Im sure they would LOVE to talk to you. Could I get your name and email?

cp
cp

Hey, here's a clue- it's not "news" to us that Dublin Dr Pepper is great. We've known it for decades and why we're all pissed at Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Yay for Jack for serving it exclusively on his taps. Doesn't make him any less of an asshole and doesn't mean that I'll give him my money. I'll find another place to get my fix. See, we TEXANS have been making the trek down to Dublin to but it there for decades. 

phliKtid
phliKtid

now hold on just a minute there, hoss.  it's one thing if you're hoping someone wants to get rid of pepsi - that sickly, flat sugar water ain't fit for human consumption.  and, sure, coke is a grand drink.  but there's no need to go and slight royal crown cola - it's a mighty fine soda in its own right.

cp
cp

Get out of our state, Yankee!!!

cp
cp

Nooo! We don't want them to cease the opportunity! 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

I may not know what its like but I know being a dick to a possible client isnt cool.  Aren't we all taught manners and to be respectful.  I dont have anything against him and i like to joke about the toilet situation but that is in fun.  To run a customer out of your place bc you dont like their conversation or berate people on twitter and Unfair Park, just doesnt seem to be the way to go.  Anyhow, Jack, Ill stop by soon, check out your mens room, enjoy a burger and Tripple XXX too

DublinKnows
DublinKnows

I've heard that bottles are still a couple months away for the Dallas area, but certain flavors will be available in bottles in Dublin. Looks like we will have to make do with the fountain versions for now. 

Donny McDermott
Donny McDermott

OK, here's the timeline:

A) THE ARTICLE IS ABOUT AN INDEPENDENT SODA BOTTLER (DUBLIN BOTTLING WORKS) BATTLING CORPORATE MEDDLING

B) M+M / PERKINS APPARENTLY SUPPORTS THE INDEPENDENT SODA BOTTLER BY COMMITTING TO SELL THEIR PRODUCTS

C) THE COMMENTS THREAD WAS HIGHJACKED BY M+M HATERS

D) YOU DROVE BY AND SPIT ON M+M FOR DEFENDING ITSELF

E) FAILURE TO PERFORM BASIC TASKS LIKE READING MAKES THE AMERICAN A LAUGHING STOCK IN THE WORLD LABOR MARKET

Jack Perkins
Jack Perkins

Why don't you follow the timeline dumbass.  I didn't make this about me or M&M.  The guy who overcompensates by putting "long" in his fake username did.

Donny McDermott
Donny McDermott

Would it be better that he not respond to nonsense?  He's just defending himself.  Keep in mind that pretty much everything online these days goes straight to Google and online reviews can make or break a business.  I know all about running and owning a business as well and the kind of sniping that erupted here is no less than trolling. 

Sure, maybe Jack's not responding how The Everyman would but I don't know that his devotion to his brand isn't anything but profound.  Screw the naysayers, full speed ahead.  He has every right (and possibly every need) to say 'go elsewhere and eat ye whining trolls'. 

Just because one can bitch doesn't give one the right to bitch in an establishment or online.  Surely you recognize the abuse of that right as a collapse of manners and respect?

lukesassypants
lukesassypants

Jack, I have been reading your posts on this article. I am guessing you are one of the owners or the manager at Maple and Motor. My question to you is, why would you want to come off as such an a-hole? Is that your real personality, or is it that your restaurant is just so busy you are trying to run off current and potential customers? 

TheLongOne
TheLongOne

I overcompensate with my environmentally unfriendly crew cab diesel truck that I don't tow anything with.  Long refers to golf game.   My name is Christopher Clark.  I think your burgers are overrated, and I don't like you.  That better, dude????

Have a good day Jack...May your lines stay long and moving swiftly.  

cp
cp

What other stuff does he "let" go on? How about this: asking customers for blowjays outside by the dumpster? 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I'm a hell of a lot less likely to swing by his establishment because he either doesn't understand or doesn't care that he's acting like a prick openly. And if an owner can't or doesn't want to understand that, what else does he let go on as far as other aspects of the business?

Perception matters. I perceive M&M to be operated by an asshole.

Tiana Hampton
Tiana Hampton

I think it adds to his charm :)And he really does care about his customers, their experience and his product. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Well, from a personal standpoint, if I read a bad review about food, Ill take it with a grain of salt, everyone has different tastes, and generally the same thing with service.  I want to visit the place 2 or 3 times before making a decision on the place.  But when the owner of a restaurant puts himself out in public talking the way he does to customers, commenters and bloggers, well its his fault if people think he is a dick, and no one elses.  Most people would ask you what they could do to make your burger better or your visit better, he may not have to listen or change anything, but it makes him look like he cares.

cp
cp

We don't need you fucking approval. We TEXANS already knew that Dublin Dr Pepper is great. 

Donny McDermott
Donny McDermott

THAT THERE DUBLIN BOTTLING WORKS SODA IS GREAT. 

I just moved here. Nice try though. Dawg.

cp
cp

Gosh, for someone who has never met Jack and has never been to his place, you sure seem awfully invested in the topic. The mere fact that you've mentioned it four or five times makes me think something about the dog yelping the loudest...

Donny McDermott
Donny McDermott

And after reading your comment, I could suppose you don't know how to pay attention.

Just because people hate something doesn't mean they're right.  Perkins is defending himself against M+M Haters.  If you're comfortable with accepting their malignant commentary as substantive, you really don't know how to pay attention.  I haven't even been to M+M but I wouldn't let obsessed trolls keep me from visiting.

Remember, the article was about Dublin Bottling Works and Perkins was mentioned because he's committed to support them.  For some reason, that was good enough reason for the trolls to crawl out of the woodwork.

Donny McDermott
Donny McDermott

Luke, you seem to be confusing standing one's ground with being nasty. Have you ever seen how well confidence sells?  A business person NEEDS to be confident because when you believe in your 'thing' others will as well. 

You also seem to be confusing the virulent M+M hatred with something like a point. Here's the real point - Jack Perkins supports Dublin Bottling Works attempt to be independent of corporate thuggery. What's not to like in that narrative?

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

Actually, I just got back from my first visit a few minutes ago.

Everyone was friendly, from the woman behind the counter to the guy who was cleaning tables. A guy I think was Jack asked me just before I left how my food was. The food was fine; the bun had a nice crunch to it, in fact. The only thing I could complain about, actually, was that it turns out real-sugar soda (at least Big Red) is *too* sweet for a good float. But I considered it might be before I went.

I wonder if the key was that I showed up after 2 PM, when there wasn't a line, or that I was happy when I walked in?

Ricky Hollywood
Ricky Hollywood

For real.  I didn't really know anything about M+M except that a few friends tried it and enjoyed it.  But after this comment thread, I don't suppose I will be making a visit.

Donny McDermott
Donny McDermott

I think you see yourself figuring into every narrative. 

Give it a rest already.  SMALL.  INDEPENDENT.  BOTTLER.  DUBLIN BOTTLING WORKS. GOES.  IT.  ALONE.  And Jack Perkins supports them.  WTF is your problem with that?

BMoney
BMoney

I think Jack sees adages like, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar," and thinks, "yeah, but you still get flies."

Just judging from how he treats people on Twitter, too. I'm looking at one Dec 7 exchange where he COULD have said, "Hey, what would've improved it for you?" when a customer said she thought the burger was overrated, but instead chose to berate her instead. 

Pulls JackOff Sides
Pulls JackOff Sides

So Jack's a scratch golfer and perfect clay shooter and the best burger in town, how much you wanna bet he can throw a football over them mountains

TheLongOne
TheLongOne

Probably because you have a better short game than me.

I don't go to Elm Fork.

How bout we just save ourselves the time and trouble and measure our dicks for a c-note.  I'll give you an inch.

Off to the airport.  

Jack Perkins
Jack Perkins

Let's go out to Elm Fork and shoot some five stand.  I'll spot you two birds for a c-note.

As far as golf goes, I wonder why I can get around in less than 3 hours?

TheLongOne
TheLongOne

I gave up golf years ago when it started taking 5-6 hours to get through a round.

I took up sporting clays.  Thanks for the offer though.

Jack Perkins
Jack Perkins

Christopher,

I don't know you, so I don't know if I like you or not.  I will give you 1 a side and play you for a c-note.

Jack

PS. You don't hope I have a good day and you'd prefer my lines went a way. Say what you mean son. You'll be much happier.

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