This is a tale of resilience and persistence of the human spirit in the face of oppression.
I’m glad I gave this a watch because I was unfamiliar with the interesting Dublin Dr. Pepper backstory! Especially, how much effort was put into preserving tradition and the community of Dublin, TX, and how that effort was targeted and aggressively dismantled. It definitely makes me look at the larger Dr. Pepper/Snapple Corporation in a different light. It’s another disturbing example of how giant companies can in essence become machines that stamp out anything in their path….with little to no regard for the heritage and livelihood of smaller businesses.
But what Dr. Pepper couldn’t do (and likely underestimated) was take away the fighting spirit of the Kloster family. It reminds me of that quote from Braveheart “They may take away our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!”. I know it sounds like first world problems but when you look at it closely, the decision of Dr. Pepper to break with tradition in such a forceful fashion was a well-aimed shot at the heart of Dublin, TX itself. Some after-effects being destruction of tourism for much of Dublin, the layoff off employees both at the Dublin Dr. Pepper bottling plant and other small businesses in the community, and a sadness for the loss of a legacy the town held dear and thrived on (in their hearts and monetarily). Dr. Pepper/Snapple’s decision to devour the “competition” seems to have backfired a bit as they chucked an opportunity to capitalize on the founding charm their brand was built on. One that might give them an edge as more and more unique brands step up to the soda industry plate.
What this film shows is that despite it all, Dublin Bottling Works and Dublin, TX itself is evolving. Not in a way that forgets where they came from. But instead honors their past and hopefully puts them in a position to build a new legacy for the future.
The original small soda shop remains in Dublin, and pride & nostalgia will also certainly still for as long as each generation keeps telling stories about the town. Now, they get to do things their own way, without the overarching shadow of a controlling monolith corporation that might press the nuke button at any minute. After writing this, I did a bit more research and found that Jeff Kloster suffered a stroke shortly after relaunching the bottling company. Pretty heartbreaking, especially considering his dedication to revitalizing the business and community.
This fascinating story was filmed thoughtfully/produced well, emotions were captured in a poignant way, the music fit, and info was effectively compiled and shared. Definitely a thumbs up from me!