Local “jerks” move to North Shore, start bottling locally made soda

(From left) Shawn Clouse

Authored By Chloé Morrison

Local soda makers will soon be making and bottling their products on the North Shore.

“We launched the soda cart last July,” co-founder of Pure Sodaworks Matt Rogers said. “It’s literally like an old-style jerk soda fountain. Almost from the very beginning people were asking when we were going to be bottling. It was just this really phenomenal response that we didn’t expect.”

Rogers, along with the other founders and “jerks” Tiffany Rogers and Shawn Clouse, use organic herbs, fruits, berries and natural cane sugar to create a variety of soda flavors, from classics such as root beer and ginger ale to the unique tastes of strawberry jalapeno and hibiscus lemon.

After selling at local events since last summer, the trio is now taking their product from the cart to a brick-and-mortar store where they will bottle and sell the drinks.

They have also launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. The campaign runs through April 27. 

More than 20 area restaurants have expressed interest in selling the locally made soda, Rogers said.

Owner of local food truck Famous Nater’s Nathan Flynt said he’s interested in selling the soda from his truck, in part because “it’s delicious,” he said.

“It definitely adds to the landscape of Chattanooga’s local food and street food because it’s passionate people doing what they love, and that’s really the most important part of it,” he said.

Tiffany and Matt also own another local business, Everyday Eclectic, where they make bath, body and home products such as soap and candles, for which they use all-natural ingredients.

Both businesses started small. Everyday Eclectic was initially only a website, and the couple worked from their home before eventually moving to a Brainerd storefront.

“I’m all about starting small and seeing what happens,” Rogers said. “There is this mentality with so many people thinking about starting a business that you need a huge amount of money and a brick-and-mortar [location], and you really don’t.”

The founders of Pure Sodaworks started the business for less than $1,000, Rogers said.

Now, both Everyday Eclectic and Pure Sodaworks will operate from the new North Shore location at 181 River St.

They hope to move in by the end of the month and have a grand opening in May, Rogers said.

“We are excited to be part of the North Shore culture,” he said. “You’ll be able to come in and get sodas in bottles and four packs, hopefully starting in May.”