If you’ve spent any time in New Hampshire you likely know the look – and the taste – of this company’s old-fashioned sodas.
On any given day at the Newfields-based Squamscot Beverages storefront, you may be greeted by three generations of the Conner family. Dan, the Operations Manager, Dan’s father, Tom, the CEO, and Dan’s grandfather, Alfred Jr., who is “retired,” but still loves the work. The soda company is now in its fifth generation of family ownership with no plans to stop anytime soon. For this month’s NH Made member spotlight, we hear from Dan (the youngest of the three generations) about how his family has made Squamscot old-fashioned sodas a true New Hampshire – and only New Hampshire – tradition.
“My family didn’t start out in soda, we actually used to bottle beer for Frank Jones’ brewery in Portsmouth. It wasn’t until Prohibition that we made the switch. We had to change with the times and it’s been soda ever since. That’s something to be proud of. We’ve been running continuously since 1863, we haven’t closed down or switched hands, it’s just been my family. That’s why it’s so important to us to be as open with our customers as possible. We want our ingredients listed where you can find them easily and we want people to visit. When you walk through the door of our facility – which is open six days each week – the bottling line is 20 feet away. You can watch a soda be made and try it just seconds-old. There aren’t many places around that offer that kind of transparency when it comes to soda.
When you stop by, you’ll hear where our ingredients are from for all of 27 flavors like root beer, cherry cola, and maple cream (a local favorite). We use Domino cane sugar and flavoring from our network of other family-operated companies. We’re really a New Hampshire brand through and through. We sell throughout the state but that’s about it – except for the annual batch we send to a California shop that sells only glass-bottled sodas. The most important thing to me is that people know we are the real deal. We keep it simple and make a product people love. That’s something all of us take pride in.”