By Kevin Collison
Lucas Thompson enjoys the old-time flavor of both soda pop and serving customers in his new KC Soda Co. operation at the River Market.
“I enjoy the nostalgia of soda, it’s been around a long time,” the 31-year-old entrepreneur said. “It’s non-alcoholic so it means all markets, kids love it, grandparents love it, all kinds of people.
“I love the aspect of people coming in and looking for a soda and showing them around.”
And there’s definitely a lot to look at.
Thompson stocks at least 1,000 different flavors from around the country and globe at any one time in his new shop at 20 E. Fifth St. And beginning this weekend, he’ll start selling scoops of ice cream so people can make their own floats.
“The City Market is busy on weekends, but to me, there was a lack of dessert options,” he said.
This is Thompson’s third soda pop operation. He launched his first in Lawrence in 2014 called Mass Street Soda. His second opened at The Legends outlet mall in western Wyandotte County in 2015.
People can buy an individual bottle or make their own six packs. Some of the more exotic flavors are mint julep, birthday cake, pumpkin pie and celery.
“Celery soda is really delicious, it’s a deli thing in New York,” he said. “You get a pastrami sandwich and a celery soda.”
And while Thompson acknowledges pop is the way most Midwesterners refer to the beverage, he believes soda adds a special flair.
“For me, pop is just cheap soda pop out of a fountain or a can,” he said “A craft soda has a better sound than a craft pop.”
Hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
As for why he chose the River Market for his new shop.
“I love the neighborhood feel of it,” he said.
He joins other new businesses that have been attracted to the neighborhood feeling of the River Market including the recently opened Nature’s Own at 310 E. Fifth St.