From pushcarts to modern transportation, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Central Virginia (PCVA) has withstood the test of time. As a cornerstone of the Central Virginia Community, PCVA has been a leading business and employer since its inception by Samuel Ambrose Jessup in 1908.
Samuel Jessup was born in Stokes County, North Carolina in 1877. After his father’s death in 1891, Samuel moved to Southern Virginia where he embarked on a path that would lead to a lifetime of entrepreneurship, eventually transitioning into the soft drink business. In 1908, Mr. Jessup made the move to Charlottesville, Virginia seeking educational opportunities for his children that were not available to him as a young man. Mr. Jessup decided that Pepsi-Cola would provide the best future for his family and he obtained on December 28, 1908, what is now the oldest written and recorded franchise.
Mr. Jessup, or "Mr. S.A." as he later became affectionately known by his friends and employees, started his Pepsi-Cola business in the basement of a building on 4th Street in downtown Charlottesville. In addition to the bottling company, Mr. S. A. also became involved in a number of other business ventures, most memorable of which are The Monticello Dairy and Virginia Trailways Bus System.
Following the death of Mr. S.A. in 1960, his youngest son, Jimmie Jessup became President of the company. Jimmie introduced several changes to the company, the biggest of which being a move in November, 1963 to a newer and larger location on Millmont Street. Pepsi-Cola eventually outgrew the Millmont Street location and in 1983, the current production and sales facility, located off Route 29, was constructed and occupied. Jimmie remained president of the company until his passing in February, 1984.
After their father's death in 1984, Jay Jessup became President and Suzanne Jessup Brooks became Executive Vice President of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Central Virginia. PCVA also operates Pepsi sales centers in Warrenton and Weyers Cave, Virginia and owns Virginia Beach Beverages, a multi-brand, new age beverage sales facility.
*All photos are copyright of Bob Stoddard and used with his permission. Photos may not be reproduced or used in any form.