NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) -New Bern is considered to be the birthplace of Pepsi Cola. It’s also home to a historical site open in downtown, which is where Pepsi was created by the late Caleb Bradham.
However, some believe bringing the world’s first and only Pepsi Museum to its birth city would be a major economic and revenue asset for New Bern.
The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of a grant application, which will help make the dream museum become a reality.
There was a large crowd of downtown business owners and more who spoke in heavy favor of the museum’s grant request during Tuesday’s meeting. The majority of them touched on the potential jobs and money that could come to New Bern.
The Rural Transformation Grant request is for $950,000, which is through the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Money from the grant will now help the city transform one of its owned buildings or lots into the Pepsi Museum.
The museum is projected to bring in thousands of tourists every year, which will help the current Pepsi shop downtown according to the Birthplace of Pepsi Managing Partner Sabrina Bengel.
“We’ll be able to say the city of New Bern boasts a Pepsi Museum that no one else in the world will have,” Bengel said. “I think it’s wonderful for us, it’s an international brand that’s worth billions with the name Pepsi alone.”
Pepsi Collectors Club President Scott Kensey feels both the Pepsi shop and museum will benefit from one another.
“I’m pretty sure the Pepsi collectors will share the wealth,” Kensey said. “They’ll be over at the Pepsi store and the museum patronizing all local businesses.”
PepsiCo has already promised to chip in a $750,000 grant and two collections towards funds needed for the museum. Tryon Palace will be the museum’s curator.
There isn’t a set location in place for where the Pepsi Museum will be located yet, but members of Bradham’s Legacy say they expect it to be around 6,000 to 8,000 square feet.