Candy Sticks

Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop Expands Soda Empire to Minnesota with Blue Sun Acquisition

In a sweet move that expands its soda pop footprint, Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop has acquired local Minnesota retailer Blue Sun Soda Shop. The deal brings the rapidly growing Grandpa Joe’s brand into the Twin Cities market for the first time.

Blue Sun Soda Shop was founded in 2015 by Mark Lazarchic with its original Spring Lake Park site billed as the “world’s largest soda shop.”

While small in scale regionally, the brand developed a cult following for its zany, soda-focused concept over nine years.

The acquisition adds three Twin Cities locations to Grandpa Joe’s portfolio – Spring Lake Park, Stillwater, and Bloomington. These will be joining the company’s existing 15 stores spread across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and West Virginia.

Blue Sun Soda in Stillwater

Christopher Beers, the founder and CEO of Grandpa Joe’s, is excited about taking over and super-sizing the Blue Sun brand. “We’ve got some really big things in store to really make it a home-run experience for all the customers,” he exclaimed.

That includes major renovations and upgrades planned for the massive 22,000 square foot Spring Lake Park flagship location. Beers plans to play up its roadside attraction appeal with splashy additions like video screens showing the behind-the-scenes bottling process.

But the biggest changes will come on the beverage menu itself. While Blue Sun primarily sold glass-bottled sodas, Grandpa Joe’s will be significantly expanding and diversifying the drink offerings.

Patrons can expect to find unique branded quaffs like Toxic Waste energy drinks, Warhead-flavored sodas, Jones Soda Co. energy drinks, Wild Bill’s Ring Pop soda, and even international Pepsi and Coke products from Thailand and Japan.

The Spring Lake Park store will reopen as a Grandpa Joe’s next week, with the Stillwater and Bloomington transitions completing by mid-May and late June respectively.

While the acquisition price was not disclosed, Beers cited Lazarchic’s vision and desire to have Grandpa Joe’s “take over the brand…to the next level” as the driving force behind the deal.

For the Pittsburgh-based Grandpa Joe’s, founded in 2012, the Minnesota expansion represents another major milestone as it continues its rapid nationwide growth. Soda pop fans across the Twin Cities will soon be able to experience Grandpa Joe’s signature sweet experience.

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