This originally ran in the Ely Timberjay, it was also on their website – they have since tried to wipe us from the history of Ely, Minnesota – glad we archive everything. oh, and before I forget – the guy who wrote this piece, he helped spread the rumor about us and the cover-up surrounding us being run out of town… nice coming from an artist and journalist.
New Ely-designed soda hitting the shelves
By Steve Foss
Ely is about to show off another product conceived and designed here.
And — like Dorothy Molter Root Beer — it’ll be one that’ll cool you down on a hot day.
Within a matter of days, Ely Elixir blueberry soda will be gracing the shelves of Ely stores and served in area restaurants.
Shane and Amy Stocky, who moved to Ely a couple of months ago to care for Amy’s father, came up with the idea of making and marketing a soda unique to Ely.
“It’s a hard place to make a living,” said Shane, who, along with Amy, has been visiting the area for the last nine years. “We had to figure out how to make some money here.”
The Stockys are a graphic design and marketing team. Amy does the writing and Shane the designing. Shane described much of his work as producing “novelty” items such as pins, shot and pint glasses and other items, which are marketed in New York City.
The idea for blueberry as a soda flavor came because of the annual Blueberry/Art Festival. The July celebration draws as many as 40,000, and blueberry is a theme on the lips of many here in summer.
Shane and Amy expect the soda to appear in grocery and other stores before the festival, and Shane said they expected to sell the 300 cases by the Boundary Waters Blues Fest, which caps the summer celebration season at the end of August.
“It’s a summer seasonal soda,” Shane said.
The soda won’t have its own booth at the art festival, because the couple missed the signup deadline, Amy said.
Shane said they’d been casting around looking for a blueberry-themed item to develop in a market where the competition over blueberry items is intense, and got the inspiration for soda after heading to a place they call Amy’s father’s “thinking spot.”
It also didn’t hurt that Shane has wanted to make pop since, as a boy in Chicago, his uncle brought him for a tour of the Filbert’s Root Beer facility, where high-quality artisan made root beer and other drinks are produced.
And Shane has remained in touch with the Filbert’s people, so it was natural to consult with them after the soda idea took shape.
Shane said the Ely Elixir formula was developed in consultation with Filbert’s, and that’s where it’ll be made and bottled.
“They helped us get it just right,” Amy said. “We’re novices at that. Our enthusiasm outweighed our knowledge, and they helped us put it together.”
And blueberries aren’t the only flavor on the Stockys’ minds.
They figure that, if the blueberry soda does well, they can make other seasonal soda pops with Ely themes.
Can you say “Winton Winter Wild Raspberry?”