If you're searching for that hard to find cola you’ll find it in a place that is as much about art as it is artificial flavor. "Soda is a part of our lives whether we realize it or not” explains The Soda Gallery owner Robert Gutierrez.
He’s part entrepreneur part tour guide helping you travel through taste. "It's amazing how much soda we sell actually” Gutierrez sa,ys enthusiastically.
The Soda Gallery is 2,000 square feet. It has more than 300 varieties of soda from around the world. There are 45 in root beer and at least 25 in cream sodas, then there are the grapes and strawberries, brands you know and others that might make you say no. “We have had Rhubarb, lavender” explains Gutierrez.
Here the bottles rocket. Some days Gutierrez sells more than 700 bottles. "They are surprised that this many drinks are still in production."
From the north to the south, from the sweet to the sour, you're going to need a better dentist. "I'm going to lose my teeth someday, but we'll deal with that later,” says Gutierrez laughingly.
If it's not on the shelves it can be specialty ordered. "I didn't know soda like this existed actually."
They are the flavors missing from Gutierrez's life when he started doing this four and a half years ago leaving his job as a troubleshooter for Western Union. It was a career that was too vanilla. "I didn't want to go work in corporate America again. I wanted to do it myself I believed that I could."
Here at The Soda Gallery, fizzling doesn't mean falling flat. "It's amazing. Everyone has something they're good at. I was 38 before I discovered what that was."
Now, Gutierrez helps others reconnect with the caps and candy colors that captivate childhoods. "The coolest thing about this place is that it actually makes people happy."
He’s a soda sommelier helping customers savor the sweetness in bottled suds. "It's really pretty exciting and it makes me happy to see when people are happy."
The Soda Gallery
408 North Bishop Avenue #101