Farewell to a Local Icon

Farewell to a Local Icon

Since 1918, this Lehigh Valley icon has been manufacturing and distributing soda to the Lehigh Valley and beyond. Making repeat appearances at birthday parties, reunions and picnics, it quickly became a member of so many families. So, it’s no surprise that when A-Treat announced it is closing its doors after 97 years, you may have shed a tear or two.

Although A-Treat officials have not spoken about the reasons for the closure, rumors swirl around recent declining sales. Maybe it’s because people are not drinking as much soda as they used to thanks to the increased popularity of flavored water, sports drinks and teas. But whatever the reason, all of us living in the Lehigh Valley were sad to hear the news.

A-Treat is known for its variety of flavors. It laid claim to more than a dozen tasty treats ranging from Cola and Birch Beer to Grapefruit and Cream (the red variety). Everyone had a favorite.

So, at Marketplace, we thought it would be fun to poll our staff and ask: If you had to pick one flavor of A-Treat as your favorite, which one would it be?

Kayla: Birch Beer
My go-to A-Treat is Birch Beer. It’s sad to know that the next time I visit Crossroads in Hellertown, I won’t be able to sit at the bar and order a Birch Beer from the draft. To me, that has always been better than ordering a real beer! I am not a soda drinker by any means, in fact, the only time I indulge in soda is when I can get Birch Beer on draft, and then there is no holding me back. My meals at Crossroads will never be the same without A-Treat.

Scott R.: Sarsaparilla
One of my fondest memories growing up was the weekly run to Murphy’s Beer Distributor in Tamaqua. A pleasant side affect of having to stock up on Budweiser was always the return of the still-heavy wooden crate of empty A-Treat returnables – giant glass bottles like no others. Always eager to take the quick jaunt down from Dutch Hill, my job, as a lad, was to select the next stock pile of A-Treat bottles, ensuring that we got good variety and of course the essentials like one Cola, one Grape, one Orange, one Ginger Ale, one Cream, and the remainder of the case was left to my keen craftsmanship. My favorite…Sarsaparilla, of course…but my kids (some 35 years later) can’t live without Blue Razz.

Keith: Cream
In the early 80’s, my grandmother Betty used to bartend at the Franklin Steam Fire Engine Company in South Side Easton. On hot summer days, while out riding my bike in the neighborhood, I used to stop in, cool off in the air conditioning, and grab a thirst-quenching A-Treat Cream soda at the bar! The sweet sugary smell of that particular flavor brings back some great early childhood memories!

Matt: Black Cherry
During a Saturday morning of grocery shopping, after church on Sundays and before every major picnic or family gathering, I vividly remember my parents always stopping to pick up a case of 32 oz. bottles of A-Treat. It was always present in my life. And, I was always thrilled to participate in selecting my favorite flavors of Black Cherry, Sarsaparilla, Grape fruit, Orange and Cream, and then help to take the case into the garage when we arrived home.

When I think of A-Treat, it reminds me of where I came from. Its nostalgic and reminds me of  the hundreds of great memories I have growing up  spending time with aunts, uncles and cousins at great summer and holiday family gatherings.  In my view, the A-Treat brand has always been representative of a humble, hard working ideology. Whenever I see an A-Treat sign hanging from a local corner store, I see my roots and the humble, but incredibly strong work ethic our parents instilled in us.

Thanks for the great memories and being a meaningful part of my life A-Treat!

Tina: Cream
My family always had a case of A-Treat soda on hand; it included a variety of our favorites. My fondest childhood memory is on hot summer nights we’d make  ice cream floats with the Cream and Root Beer flavors. A-Treat Cream soda with two scoops of vanilla ice cream was my choice every time. Yummy!!!

Stacey: Grapefruit
When my husband and I would take a road trip vacation we would always fill our cooler with all flavors of A-Treat soda. We all had our favorite flavors, mine is the Grapefruit, Michael’s is the Cream, Justin’s is the Birch Beer and Tristian’s is the Orange. Vacation is never going to be the same without A-Treat soda.

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