After three generations and nearly a century in business – today the very last soda deliveries were made by A-Treat Bottling Company, an iconic Lehigh Valley mainstay.
But, the community has spoken loud and clear.
With nearly 8,000 likes on Facebook, that is.
After Friday afternoon’s news hit that Allentown’s A-Treat was closing its doors, the community immediately created a “Save A-Treat soda” Facebook page. And in less than 24 hours, the page already had 3,000 likes.
Customer comments continue to flood the page, with stories about their favorite A-Treat flavors and memories – all in a plea for someone or some business to save the company.
“I have an adult autistic son. He loves A-Treat and it’s really the only thing he wants to drink,” Jill Caesar Walker posted to the “Save A-Treat soda” page on Jan. 24. “Whenever he is good for three days in a row we give [him] a reward and [he] always, always, always picks A-Treat – either lime, orange or blue.”
“I don’t know what I’m going to tell him when I can’t give [him] A-Treat anymore … so I hope that we can save A-Treat.”
And according to “Save A-Treat soda”, customers are encouraged to upload their favorite A-Treat photo to the page. The picture with the most likes becomes the new profile picture for the page.
A-Treat was started in 1918 in a three-car garage in downtown Allentown by Joseph and Jack Egizio. The business moved to its east Allentown location in 1932.
With more than 25 different sodas, popular flavors include orange, ginger ale, grapefruit, red cream, and birch beer – all made with formulas evolved from the family’s recipes.
Rumors of the closure were circulating for the past year, when the company lost its contract with Wal-Mart stores, and after the company was fined $130,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for health and safety violations on its manufacturing floor.
A-Treat officials were unavailable for comment this morning.