Caroline Kennedy Library’s Faygo pop-up

Showcase filled with Faygo pop bottles and items.
Lynn Bryer Skazalski, supervising librarian at the Caroline Kennedy Library in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, set up this display to promote a May 7 talk at the library

A Faygo toast to Lynn Bryer Skazalski, supervising librarian at the Caroline Kennedy Library in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, for putting this display together.

She has significant help from Dawn Burch, Marketing Manager at Faygo Beverages, Inc., who sent over plenty of swag.

The library’s display is to let people know that I will be at the library at 7 p.m. May 7 to do a “Faygo Book” program.

The library is at 24590 George Street.

I have given about 60 talks and have scheduled about 60 more. The list keeps growing.


Longtime Pepsi employee says Vernors deal clouded Faygo sale

Man stands in library with Faygo sign in background
Pepsi-Cola retiree John Young after a Faygo Book presentation at The Library of Michigan.
John Young, who said he worked for 38 years in quality control for Pepsi, shed some light on the quiet negotiations that led to the 1985 sale of Faygo to TreeSweet. It was sold in 1987 to National Beverage Company.

According to Young, “Of the companies bidding for the Faygo product, Pepsi was one of the last bidders, but the Faygo company refused to deal with them because they had previously got a 25-year franchise deal to produce and market Vernor’s product. I know this because I worked in the factory that Vernors ended up with.

John Young spent 38 years in quality control at Pepsi.

Where can I buy Faygo?

Finding Faygo locations can be a treasure hunt, even in the Detroit area, where the stuff is made.

One of the best places I have found has been the Value Center Marketplace at 27428 Six Mile Road, Livonia, MI 48152. I was tipped off during a Faygo Book presentation at the Redford District Library.

Not only did the store have a great variety, it had great prices. I bought 2-liters for a buck. The store had 12-packs of cans as well as singles in the 20- and 24-once sizes. Just look at this beautiful Wall of Faygo.

You can see a list of more than 100 Faygo flavors over the years in “The Faygo Book.”

Making a Faygo bar or party popup

A man in a red and white striped jacket stands next to dozens of bottle and cans of Faygo laid out on a table so people could try samples.
A Faygo pop bar set up for a “Faygo Book” talk at the Historical Socity of Michigan’s Local History conference on March 22. Photo by Kendall Wingrove.

You got me. I went a little over the top today with my popup for the Historical Society of Michigan’s Local History Conference.

Blame my excitement over being invited to speak about “The Faygo Book.” The Local History Conference generally attracts speakers or panels in the meting rooms and vendors and merchandise int the open areas. A tabletop Faygo popup brings the color of vendor samples into the lectures.

It started simply enough with a few bottles here and a 12-pack there.

Here’s what it takes to build your own Faygo popup:

  • Start with a tablecloth and then napkins in Faygo colors. These are rainbow napkins, which saved me from sorting solid, colorful the napkins to make rainbows.
  • The base is a pyramid of 12-packs in the back to give the popup some height. I used three here, but you could us more or make the ends the high points. Top the pyramid with bottles. I used a 2 1/2-liter that you can sometimes find at dollar stores for $1. It’s the biggest Faygo bottle I know of these days.
  • If you have signs, they are your background. These signs came to me from Mike Skinner, who rescued them from restoration efforts at the old Ford Motor plant on Piquette.
  • Use 2-liter bottles in as many flavors as you can find for a back row. Mix up the colors and include diet  for those who prefer it. Faygo has great diet redpop, rock ‘n’ rye, grape, orange and root beer.
  • In front of this backdrop, mix up 24-once and 20-once bottles with 12-ounce cans. Put the smallest ons in front, and mix the colors.
  • Some six-packs of glass-bottle Faygos brings in some horizontal massing and big Faygo logos. Have a bottle opener on hand.
  • Put out rainbow napkins. I added green slips with suggested Faygo flights, but would have liked red more.
  • Make the effort to get cups in Faygo colors. These paper cups came from Party City and can be recycled.
  • Sprinkle brightly colored drinking straws over everything. I wanted paper straws, but settled for plastic.
  • Put ice off to the side. I put one cooler of ice cubes on top of another cooler to bring it up to table level without crowding it onto the table.
  • Have a bag or box available for recycling or returning the empties.
  • Invite your guests to help themselves to a Faygo. They will not need instructions of a second invitation.