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Pop culture

Dodgeville couple open The Pop Place Store for craft “soda” aficionados.

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The store is popular among the 20-and-younger crowd and also people who prefer not to drink alcohol, but many other customers simply appreciate the clever names, humorous labels, and purchase unique sodas as gifts for others.

“I think 95% of our customers just want to say they tried something once,” he says.

Luitjens, a former “radio guy” who once was the play-by-play announcer for the North Dakota State Bison football team, still has a flair for marketing.

One recent store promotion, the Red Party 4-pack, included a bottle of Leninade, Stalinade, Fidel Castro Havana Banana, and Kim Jong-un Nuclear Bomb. It was a big hit, he laughs.

Meanwhile, Luitjens keeps his ear to the ground on issues related to soda taxes, which some cities have implemented to discourage people from consuming high quantities of sugar. “Everything in moderation,” he sighs. “Nobody should be drinking large quantities of soda.”

And while the store’s sales numbers are off slightly and spring can’t come soon enough, Luitjens is taking it all in stride. “Mentally and physically, my stress-level is different, but I’m more in control.

“I’m selling craft soda,” he adds. “How bad can it be?”

The Pop Place Store
213 E. Main St.
Mount Horeb, WI 53572
(608) 425-8101

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