The Schafer History

Alan Schafer

alan_schaferThe tale of Alan Schafer is as enormous as his famed South of the Border tourist attraction itself. His marketing prowess is legendary, turning “The Border” into a one of America’s most fabled road trip destinations. His affection for life showed in the way he met every day with a hard-working attitude that would not allow failure or mediocrity. One of his biggest passions was his favorite soda, Blenheim Ginger Ale. He always said the secret to his longevity was in Blenheim Old #3’s fiery kick which matched his own fiery passion for life.

Blenheim Ginger Ale had flirted with big time success in the latter part of 80’s and gained quite a bit of national press from such media giants as journalist Charles Kurault and Playboy Magazine. But a series of ownership changes, combined with spotty production and poor quality control, had left the company on edge of extinction. Alan Shafer had spent a lifetime enjoying South Carolina’s only native soft drink, and was determined that it wouldn’t disappear.

In an Associated Press interview he said, “I was drinking Blenheim when I was a kid, about 75 years ago, and I didn’t want to see it go down the drain.” He purchased the company in 1993, and soon after realized the archaic bottling plant would not meet his high standards, so he built a massive new warehouse and production facility behind his office at South of the Border to oversee the Blenheim project personally. A nationwide marketing campaign followed, spreading the Blenheim Ginger Ale sensation from a sleepy little South Carolina town to a national phenomenon that continues to grow today.

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