Jeff Kloster is a soft drink evangelist, a Pied Piper of pop. He also used to be a “pepper.” Kloster and his family own Dublin Bottling Works, Inc., the soft drink company that was known as Dublin Dr Pepper until Jan. 11.
That was the day the Klosters agreed to sell their rights to the Plano-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which had filed a lawsuit claiming the small bottler had violated its licensing agreement by selling beyond its distribution territory and using an unauthorized logo. The settlement ended both a 120-year relationship and Dublin’s run as the state’s iconic — and, for several decades, only — bottler of Dr Pepper made with real cane sugar.
The news surprised people. Calls for a Dr Pepper boycott went out over social media. But six months later, the company lives on. On June 9, Dublin Bottling Works began bottling and selling its own line of fountain drinks — including Vintage Cola, Tart and Sweet Lemonade, Retro-Grape and several others, all, of course, sweetened with Imperial Cane Sugar, which Dublin employees still lug off of pallets, one