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Drink Up

From cans of Whoopass energy drink to Berry White juice, Seattle-based Jones Soda Co. reflects the offbeat personality of its founder.
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This story appears in the September 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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Vital Stats:Peter van Stolk, 38, founder

Company: Juice and soda manufacturer started in 1996

2001 Sales: $33 million

Strange Brew: "The concept for the flavors comes from consumers, but we test them out. Every Friday, everybody in the company drinks soda and juice."

Indie Soda Wars: "Without SoBe tea being bought out [by Pepsico], we wouldn't have been able to move the brand as fast as we have. Independent distributors [were looking for a new line of alternative beverages], because a big piece of their business was gone. We go to launches where distributors take sledgehammers to SoBe's coolers. It's personal. It's passionate. You can't buy that enthusiasm."

Office Space: "When people come into my office, they see a big painting by [pop artist] ManWoman of a guy in a little gray outfit juggling skulls. It's whacked out."

What a Trip: "I was a 22-year-old ski instructor, and I sold my car and bought some orange juice from Florida and sold that [in Canada]. You get on this journey, and it's just one crazy ride after the next. It's pretty exciting."

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Edition: May 2017

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