Uncovered: Old Vess Cola advertisement

Photo by Derek

Reader Derek stopped by the Internet Archive to drop off some old t-shirts this week and noticed that at the site of November’s fire, and old advertisement for Vess Cola has been uncovered.

Vess Cola, originally made by Vess Soda which was founded in 1916, is still in existence (manufactured by Cott). They make a variety of flavors including orange, cream, cherry cola, black cherry, pineapple, peach, piƱa colada, strawberry, grape, blue raspberry and kiwi-strawberry. Their slogan is “The Billion Bubble Beverage”.

The “Good?…it’s Perfect!” ad is on the side of the building adjacent to the Archive’s annex building near Clement and Funston, which has a restaurant, Taishan Cafe, on the ground floor and apartments above. The entire building has been closed off until repairs are made from the fire.

Sarah B.

Photo by Derek


  1. OK now that I took a good look at the photo. They should save exterior that the sign is painted on when the building gets restored.

  2. I used to drink Vess beverages when I went to college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale back in the early 90s. At this time, Vess was primarily a low-cost soda found for sale in the Saint Louis metro area and the general Missouri-Southern Illinois-Northern Arkansas area; I believe it was also available at some nationwide warehouse club stores as well. Vess was an “economy” brand of soda. It was the type you’d drink when you were a bit tight on funds and couldn’t afford, say Coca-Cola. For many years, Vess had this giant neon soda bottle erected along one of the major Interstates in downtown Saint Louis. Was kind of like a landmark drivers used to judge how bad traffic might have been backed up going into the downtown Saint Louis area, based on what was reported on the radio traffic reports. (Same idea as the Doggie Diner heads of the Bay Area) I’m not sure if it’s still there; I haven’t been back to Saint Louis since I graduated from Southern Illinois. I’m surprised Vess was evidently sold in San Francisco at one time; I had always thought it was a Saint Louis area only beverage.

  3. Wikipedia tells us “Vess Soda is a brand of soft drink manufactured and distributed primarily in the St. Louis, Missouri, USA, metropolitan area and recently in Canada through Dollarama and Giant Tiger locations. The company was founded in 1916. At the height of its popularity, Vess had bottling plants in several locations including Asheville, Lafayette, Anderson and Cincinnati. It is now owned by Cott Beverages.”

  4. @Ron – Thanks, I didn’t think Chabudai was right but their signage is covered up and when I googled the address, that was all the came up. Appreciate the correction!

    Sarah B.

  5. My family used to own the restaurant(The name of the restaurant was called Canton Winter Garden) in the late 80’s and 90’s right next to the Christian book store. I also used to run behind the high hedges of the church since it was like a secret pathway.

  6. Sarah, you left out the big question — any plans to save the sign??

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