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Saving A-Treat? Community joins forces, potential buyer steps up to revive soft drink brand

The A-Treat Bottling Co. facility at 2001 Union Blvd. in Allentown needs a signifi cant upgrade if someone were to reopen it, a former A-Treat salesman says. - (Photo / Jennifer Glose)

The mere thought of no longer being able to quench the Lehigh Valley’s thirst with a century old soft drink overflowing with nostalgia has sent much of the community and Allentown officials on a mission:

The mere thought of no longer being able to quench the Lehigh Valley’s thirst with a century old soft drink overflowing with nostalgia has sent much of the community and Allentown officials on a mission:

To save east Allentown’s A-Treat Bottling Co., a regional soda company.

The iconic soda manufacturer made its last deliveries and closed Jan. 26 after being in business in the Lehigh Valley since 1918. That prompted a social media craze, community development action plan from the Allentown mayor’s office and about 50 A-Treat employees clinging to the hope someone will step up to buy and save the company.

“There is probably not a household in the Lehigh Valley that didn’t have an A-Treat product in the home at some point,” Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski said.

There could be an angel.

Allentown business owner Paul Eifler told Lehigh Valley Business – in an exclusive interview – that he has a strong interest in buying A-Treat Bottling Co. at 2001 Union Blvd.

“It’s just a shame when something 100 years old can just disappear, when it has such a base of fans,” said Eifler, 60, whose favorite A-Treat flavor is black cherry. “Ideally, the idea is to save jobs and keep the place in Allentown. That would be a priority.”

Eifler, a New Jersey native living in Allentown the past 17 years, is co-owner of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. in South Whitehall Township. He started the financial planning franchise in 1999 and has nearly 400 clients.

Before entering finance, Eifler spent more than 20 years in the flavor production industry, where he held various positions in the compounding, testing and applications of flavors used in products for major soft-drink companies.

Eifler already had decided to leave the financial advice industry and said he expects to sell his equity in Ameriprise Financial to his business partner early next year.

Jennifer Glose
Reporter Jennifer Glose covers health care, Berks County and other topics. She can be reached at jenniferg@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 111.

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