In 1925, two women in Cincinnati asked their boyfriends if they would be interested in becoming equal partners in purchasing a bottling business. Their push put into motion the formation of G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc.
Photo of founders


photo of acceptance letter


photo of bottling co in 1936


photo of breaking ground in Portsmouth, Ohio


Photo representing 1953


Photo representing 1954


Photo representing 1955


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Photo representing 1967


Photo representing 1968


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  • 1925
  • 1935
  • 1936
  • 1938
  • 1953
  • 1954
  • 1955
  • 1964
  • 1965
  • 1967
  • 1968
  • 1988
  • 1990
  • 2003
  • 2015
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024

In 1925, Nell Gross and Esther Jarson asked their future husbands, Walter and Isaac, if they would be interested in purchasing a bottling business. They founded the Grand Pop Bottling Company and became equal partners.

A representative from the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company called upon the Gross and Jarson families and offered them a Pepsi franchise. The families accepted the offer and started selling Pepsi soon after.

The Gross and Jarson families acquired their second Pepsi-Cola franchise in Lexington, KY in 1936. The franchise was not part of the Grand Pop Bottling Company, but like their other territories, the Lexington area was covered by salesman employed by the families.

Portsmouth, OH became the location of the Gross and Jarson families’ third Pepsi-Cola franchise. What began as a rural area rapidly grew alongside the development of the Ohio River Valley, which significantly increased the Portsmouth business.

A bottling plant was constructed by Pepsi-Cola in Hamilton, OH to help keep up with Cincinnati’s demand in 1940. Gross and Jarson were issued the exclusive bottling agreement for the territory in 1953.

The Ripley, OH facility started operations in 1954. It was 12,000 square feet and had a bottling line, warehouse space, and offices.

In 1955, Gross and Jarson sold the Cincinnati franchise but opened offices in Cincinnati under the name of Gross-Jarson and Associates. The office workers oversaw the operations of the company’s four bottling plants.

The Gross and Jarson bottling franchises began distributing Diet Pepsi and the recently purchased Mountain Dew in 1964. Mountain Dew was introduced with a large sales event that involved route salesmen dressed in folk attire, a giant Mountain Dew jug, and sampling events in every supermarket in the Ripley, OH territory. Over 11,500 cases of Mountain Dew bottles were sold in the first month!

After securing the bottling rights for Columbus, a new bottling plant was constructed. The Columbus bottling plant’s grand opening was advertised on the radio, television, and billboards and featured Joan Crawford, a director of the Pepsi-Cola company. The opening ceremony was attended by Crawford as well as the president and CEO of PepsiCo and the president and CEO of the Pepsi-Cola company.

In 1967, Gross-Jarson and Associates opened a new facility in Winchester, KY in order to produce Pepsi products in cans. The canned products could then be shipped to any other Gross-Jarson facility.

The five Gross-Jarson bottling franchises were consolidated into one company, G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, Inc. in 1968.

The Athens, OH Pepsi-Cola franchise was purchased by G&J Pepsi in 1988.

In 1990, G&J Pepsi-Cola was given the opportunity to purchase the Zanesville, OH Pepsi-Cola franchise. Zanesville was an ideal addition due to its proximity to G&J Pepsi’s other locations and it became a part of the Columbus Division.

The Columbus bottling plant was named Bottler of the Year by the Pepsi-Cola company.

In 2015, G&J Pepsi opened a facility in Wilmington, OH and constructed an additional production facility in its Columbus, OH territory.

G&J Pepsi’s Athens location was the recipient of the Bottler of the Year award in 2022.

G&J Pepsi continues to expand! In 2023, a new facility opened in Maysville, KY and the company acquired licensing to distribute Hard Malt Beverages throughout its franchise area. G&J Pepsi also acquired a refreshed look following Pepsi’s rebranding.

Today, the 3rd generation of the founding families remain instrumental in the day-to-day operation of business.