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Goody Soda

Goody Soda Bottle Cap“Thirst Come—Thirst Served”

Goody Soda was made by the Willow Springs Distillery that opened in Omaha, Nebraska in 1866. By 1894, Willow Springs was the third largest distillery in the US. They manufactured alcoholic beverages like gin, rye, whiskey and bourbon until Prohibition, when the manufacture of any alcoholic beverage was illegal. In 1919 they changed their name to Willow Springs Bottling and began making only near-beer, malt and soft drinks.

Advertising for Goody Soda from the late 1940s shows a character called “Goody”. This young man was used to promote sales of Goody soda to store owners.

As far as we can tell, Goody Soda was produced into the 1970s (with many readers of this site recalling Goody well into the late 1980s), and as late as 2012 it resurfaced and was available for online purchase (source: Soda Emporium).

Willow Springs Distillery
4th and Pierce Streets
Omaha, Nebraska

Flavors that Goody soda was available in included Strawberry, Chocolate and Black Cherry. If you know of any others, please share it with us. Also, when was the last time you saw Goody soda available?

Last updated: October 22, 2012
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About Ann

Ann is a web assistant and project manager with Retro Planet. After prior stints in the advertising and publishing worlds, she has found her place with the company. She is a serious anglophile and history buff, with a passion for anything from the past, especially retro inspired decor.

  • DAN

    I live in Omaha, Nebraska. Cornhusker beverage used to sell it. They quit selling it about 15 years ago. People used to like it because the bottles would fit in old pop machines. I think it also came in grape, orange and lemon-lime.

  • Nancy

    I love Goody Pop!! Oh, so many flavors! Let’s see how many I can remember….Birch Beer, Root Beer, Grape, Orange, Strawberry, Raspberry, Cream Soda, their version of 7Up/Bubble Up (can’t remember that ones name, the bottle was green with yellow lettering), Black Cherry, Peach, Vanilla, Black Licorice (my moms fave), Lemon/Lime, GAGH! I know there’s more!! We even had a bottle of Birch Beer and a bottle of Peach here in the house. But I can’t remember if they got tossed last year at this time. I’ve got the case that I bought, but I could take it back with the empties and get so much off when I re-filled it. I know I’ve got some empties around, unless the kids busted them. They mostly came in the clear bottles with colored lids. I used to get ours at a liquor store downtown. I’m going to have to check in and see if maybe they don’t have a few bottles in the back that I can buy :: waggles eyebrows :: When I remember more flavors I’ll post ‘em. I’ll ask my brothers and sisters what flavors they can think of!

  • Nancy

    Okie, I just checked, I’ve got three clear bottles unbroken. I found a green one that was busted but it had ‘Pep’ on it. That’s not the one I was thinking off, the green bottle I was thinking of had a hilbiliy on it with a corn cob pipe, if I remember right. Oh, well. I’ll keep looking.

  • http://www.cornhuskerbeverage.com Nicole Bourquin

    Good memory, the one you couldn’t remember was Sparkle-up! There was also a Cola and Diet cola (the diet cola came in clear bottles marked with “mission” in a blue bow tie design) My Great great grandfather came over from Germany to be the “brewmaster” for Willow Springs Brewery and most recently, my grandfather bottled Goody Soda at Cornhusker Beverage Mart (corporate name Willow Springs Bottling) at 8510 K Street in Omaha, Nebraska. We stopped bottling about 12 years ago after my Grandfather (George Riedmann) retired. Also missing from your list is Orange Pineapple, Cherry Cola, Grapefruit soda (came in the green “Quicky” bottles with yellow writing). I remember that a case of 24 would sell for $3.99 plus a $4.00 deposit on the bottles. Every year at the beginning of summer we still have people coming in and calling looking for Goody pop! We all miss goody pop, but I’m proud to be 5th generation in the business!

  • Bryan Goode

    Growing up in a small town in Southern Illinois (Gillespie) almost every soda pop machine stocked GOODY soda. My favorite soda of all time was GOODY Black Cherry soda, nothing better on a hot summer day. I would love to purchase the Black Cherry syrup recipe.

  • Kathleen Good Hubka

    I remember this, too. I hadn’t thought about it in years, until I ran across an empty bottle in an antique store. Bought it. Loved the black cherry. Loved the name.

  • Kim

    Found a Goody bottle in Cokato Lake, Mn. It has “Thirst come – Thirst served” etched on it. Any idea how old it could be?

  • http://lincolnhighwaynebraska.org Nils Anders Erickson

    my father …Gordon A. Erickson…Worked at Seagram’s during WWll…Worked on and helped develop…Crown Royal and Ron Rico 151 (now Bacardi 151)…Went to Omaha in 1951 to run the world’s largest alcohol plant ( originally built by Creighton of Creighton University ) They needed lots of whiskey to keep the wagontrains rolling out to California. Prohibition had changed it to soda and near beer. Willow Springs bottling moved a few times…My friend Rick bought it from George and kept bottling glass in the back room then changed to plastic bottles…I have filled bottles from the last run of GLASS from a few years ago. My favorite was BLUE (blue cream soda). i also have bottles of Quicky and they also bottled grape NEHI and Orange Crush at one time…Still looking for that bottle of Stars and Stripes Beer bottled by John Creighton

  • Alan

    I found a Goody bottle on my land 2yrs ago it says Goody brand bottled under authority
    The Goody Company
    Minneapolis, Minn
    bottled by
    Goody Beverage Co.

    front says
    thirst come thirst served
    wholesome and refreshing

  • Tim

    if i were to say that i had a case of 24 bottles that read, Goody brand bottled under authority The Goody Company
    bottled by
    would that be worth anything to anyone?

  • Al

    i was just curious if was a collectable or junk

  • john

    i’ve got a goody orange drink from l.beal,inc siqux falls so. dak. , does it relate ?

  • kirk

    i grew up in Maquoketa, Iowa. There used to be a bottle distributor there (called Maquoketa Bottling Works), that sold Goody pop in all kinds of flavors, my personal favorites being black cherry, root beer, and orange. I believe they were open and still distributing Goody pop until sometime around 1988/89? That was some really GOOD soda. That name has enough nostalgic recognition, if someone had the cash and the integrity to reproduce that soda again, I think it would be pretty successful.

  • Bill Riedmann

    I proudly worked for my great-uncle George Riedmann during the summer when I was 14-19. Honesty and hard work were just two things George taught me about as I helped make “our product”.For over ten years after whenever I visited Omaha the first place I went was the “Pop factory”. I always entered through the side door which led into the production room. You’d walk past that cooler and the two bathrooms to find yourself in a small factory- first the bottle washer about the size of a small bus. Pulling empty cases off the pallet ( six tie six high) and stacking the bottles which are eventually pulled into the washer was usually the first job on the line George would trust you with. You remember how folks used to keep the cases of pop next to the fridge sometimes? I ended up with a coffee can full of refrigerator magnets over the years. I almost had the whole alphabet just from the occasional magnet dropping into the returnables case.
    Tears come to my eyes as I remember that summer day when I opened that side door and found nothing but silence. I walked up front. Jim was there of course and he saw me and quickly looked down. As I approached he told me what happened. The end had come. No more Goody Pop. Uncle George is still with us-that shining black hair! And Jim with his brilliant and dynamic business sense has kept things evolving and the business thrives.
    George would tell me “go out and sow your wild oats young Bill then come on back and make some pop”.
    The machines are quiet now at 84thand K but whenever things work out here in there in business and in everyday life I think of George and Jim and my father Bill Sr( ‘our attorney ‘ as Goerge liked to call him)and I appreciate the lessons that they carefully and dutifully and loving taught me. Bill Riedmann

  • John

    I grew up in Maquoketa, Iowa and the Maquoketa Bottling Works produced Goody Pop in all their flavors. My favorite was Rock n Rye (a combination between, Coke, Root Beer, Dr Pepper with maybe a hint of another fruit. I have yet to find a soda pop with that flavor since my childhood. They were located next to the town baseball fields and all of us would grab a bottle of pop after a practice or game. It was pure Americana.nnJohn

  • http://www.facebook.com/dcholloway Devin Charles Holloway

    Quite touching and well written. Thank you Bill.nnFYI – I came across this while doing some research about the Megeath family (i.e. SA Megeath and kin). nnWould you have any suggestions/good sources of information re: the founders of Willow Springs?nnThanks,nnDevin

  • Alison

    I grew up in Lincoln, NE, and while I was in high school, a friend and I would go buy Goody Soda at a Liquor store down the street from us. I graduated in 1996, so I know for a fact that it was available much more recently than the 1960′s.

  • Guest

    My favorite flavor of Goody soda was always Peach. I haven’t seen it sold around here since I was a kiddo. I always remember buying it in the glass bottles. They just don’t make things like they used to!

  • nebcitygrl

    i hail from nebraska as well and i also remember gettin it here in the 90′s, from a soda fountain. They came in glass bottles. thats why i even googled it.

  • Kgolf

    i found a goody root beer bottle 12oz. bottled by San Francisco City Bottling Company

  • Jimtomaszewski

    I came accross lighted  a clock that says “Drink Quiky the Grapefruit Lemon Refresher”  Can you give me any background and worth of this clock?

  • jwilson

    Harra Beverage of Oshkosh Wi bottled Goody Soda for many yrears. Sadly, they went out of business in the 80s or 90s.

  • Bigredgator

    We were just visiting Omaha over the weekend, and they were selling it inside Hollywood Candy.  My children both purchased the Blue bottle and loved it!

  • http://www.retroplanet.com/ Retro Planet

    Thanks for the heads up on this!

  • Valinye

    I just had a bottle of blue I picked up at World Market. On the side it says “Orca Beverage Soda Works, Mukilteo WA”

  • Brenda

    About the Goody Soda;
    I Saw Goody Soda at Cost Plus World Market, and in two flavors;
    Red Pop
    Blue Pop.