John Peterson and Collin Cormier  

Though their businesses have been up and running for just two years, cousins John Peterson of the men’s clothing boutique Genterie and Lafayette food truck pioneer Collin Cormier of Viva la Waffle decided to take another entrepreneurial leap, this time by launching a line of premium sodas aptly named Swamp Pop.

ABiz spoke with Cormier and Peterson during Thursday’s meeting of the705 Young Leaders for a Better Acadiana.

“The phrase is where it all started, and the fact no one had used Swamp Pop for the brand name of a soda before,” Peterson tells ABiz.

That led to the idea of swapping high fructose corn syrup with Louisiana grown sugar cane as a sweetener for the drink, also a previously unused concept.

“No one in Louisiana is doing that,” says Peterson, adding, “No one has actually captured the flavor of Louisiana in a soda before.”

After hatching the Swamp Pop idea about a year ago, Peterson says the first four flavors — Noble Cane Cola, Satsuma, Praline Cream Soda and Jean Lafitte Ginger Ale — will be bottled and on store shelves by the end of summer.

swamppop1“We’re ironing out the logistics and details, but are working on getting statewide grocery store distribution,” says Peterson, noting Swamp Pop will be found on the shelves of smaller outlets and offered in some restaurants and bars as well. Additional flavors will be rolled out later down the line.

“It may still be way too early for us to start another business,” says Peterson. He and Collins have only been business owners since mid-2011. “But sometimes when an idea feels right, you just have to close your eyes and hope for the best.”

Jennifer Sosa and Lacey Broussard

Click here to check out the Swamp Pop website.

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