Making a small, family run busi-ness work in almost any industry is difficult, but what about when your competitors are guys named Coke and Pepsi? That’s just what John Sgambato and his family have done with Yacht Club Soda for 100 – count ‘em, 100 – years. It’s an impressive enough accomplishment to warrant a visit from Governor Raimondo on – you guessed it – her 100th day in office. (It is the official soda of Rhode Island, after all.) Three generations of the Sgambato family have kept Yacht Club bubbling throughout the years. How have they managed to do it? John says simply, “Perseverance.” Elaborating just a little, he adds, “I think the secret to our success is never to compromise our product and strive to improve whenever possible.” Improvement is exactly what they have in mind as they update their iconic bottling plant in North Providence to accommodate growing demand for local products. Look for John and Yacht Club celebrating their centenary at events throughout the state all summer long, and get ready to sip their soon-to-be-released grapefruit soda. Sounds like it would mix perfectly with some tequila for a celebratory summer cocktail.
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