A Can of Philadelphia History: Do You Remember Frank’s Black Cherry Wishniak Soda?
I have no idea what made me think of this the other day -- do you remember Frank’s Black Cherry Wishniak soda?
If you were born and/or raised in and around Philadelphia and South Jersey, you may remember Frank's sodas from back in the day.
And if you don't remember the soda, you probably at least remember their slogan, "Is it Frank's? Thanks."
Frank's made a bunch of different sodas from a factory in Philadelphia -- grape, vanilla creme, ginger ale, and others -- but it was their black cherry wishniak that made them a local legend.
It all started in 1885
According to a 2010 article from phillymag.com,
Frank’s Beverages was the official name of the company founded by Jacob Frank in 1885. Jacob was a Russian immigrant who made lemon soda from freshly squeezed lemons on the streets of Philadelphia. Frank’s headquarters used to be in the Juniata section of the city with the bottling plant at G and Luzerne.
Nothing lasts forever
Frank's was sold in 1990 and the brand pretty much disappeared after that.
For a very brief period of time, a beverage bottling company in Baltimore made the black cherry soda, however, a case was selling for around $80 -- yikes! I'm a fan of nostalgia and all, but $80 for soda is a bit much.
End of an era
Stanford Frank, the last president of Frank's Beverages, died in 2014 at the age of 92, according to an obituary in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Memories live on
Sadly, these days, the best you can do is find an old Frank's bottle cap or t-shirt for sale online, or catch an old TV commercial on YouTube...