10/27/12

Brookdale soda, a bicentennial Bloomfield business

Bloomfeld Life newspaper recently ran a story on the history of businesses in town, including a few paragraphs about Brookdale soda:


Billed at the "Pride of the Garden State," the Brookdale Beverage Co. was a welcome alternative to other big brand sodas. It was made and bottled on Sylvan Road from 1927 to 1964-65, said Joe Pieretti, the son of the founder, also named Joe. The company later moved its operations to a bigger factory in Clifton.
 At its peak, the company sold 3 million cases a year. But the Pieretti family knew the industry was changing. The company still used glass bottles while other soda companies were using plastic and aluminum. The family looked into using "throw away bottles" but the machines they used were too old and replacing them would have been too costly, Joe said.
Another factor was when the liquor business was deregulated by the state, he said. Brookdale Beverage had its two largest accounts with two large liquor store chains throughout the state. But once the state stopped regulating the cost of liquor prices, the stores began to give less space to the soda, which used to take up one entire wall space, he said.
The Pieretti family sold it in 1988 to another business owner from New York, but the company closed down six months later. Joe said hindsight is always 20/20, and he now wishes the family didn't sell the company.
Pieretti Court in town is named after the family and Joe, the founder. Today, the business has a rather large cult following online. Joe Pieretti said he's writing a book on his experiences at the soda factory, but the project is in its infancy.
Read the full article:
http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/174795101_Bloomfield_Bicentennial__Business.html?page=all