NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — New Bern, North Carolina: The Birthplace of Pepsi-Cola. This week, Bear Town’s baby has its sights on the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.
“Hometown team, hometown drink,” says Phil Buffa with The Birthplace of Pepsi. “We’re really excited about that.”
The coastal community is proud of its pop and the place where Pepsi was created.
“Pepsi was invented in New Bern in 1898,” says Buffa. “It’s one of the staples of New Bern. It’s one of the staples of Eastern North Carolina and the state.”
The combination of the Panthers and Pepsi may be as sweet as the drink itself for North Carolina. Visitors are already making their way to Craven County to check out the historic site.
“I like the history and how it was born here,” says Megan Parsons who is visiting New Bern from Wilmington.
Kami Johnson brought her six kids to check out the store.
“We’re excited about Pepsi and the Carolina Panthers,” says Kami Johnson.
Some visitors say they remember when the previous bottle of the soda was in circulation. The Pepsi store location once housed the pharmacy where the carbonated concoction was created. There’s no way the creator Caleb Bradham could have known his “digestion aid” would one day be world-renowned. The hope is that the national spotlight from the Super Bowl will bring the focus back to the historic city.
“The Pepsi halftime show is going to bring a lot of exposure to New Bern,” says Buffa.
So, if you’re in the area, visitors have only one recommendation:
“Try the Pepsi,” says Parsons.
Eastern North Carolina-based Minges Bottling Company tells me there will be a commemorative can made if the Carolina Panthers win. That can will go into production at 7 a.m. Monday morning when the Cardiac Cats clutch a victory. So cross your fingers and grab a cold one, it’s Super Bowl 50 weekend.