Old “Doc” Pemberton was well known in Atlanta, Georgia, for his “patent medicines,” which people took to cure a variety of ills.
One day in 1886, he appeared at the local soda fountain with a new drink. His friends and neighbors liked the flavor of the new drink. It was not too sweet and not too bitter.
It was very refreshing and could make anybody feel better. You didn’t even have to feel sick, and it could make you feel better.
Encouraged, “Doc” Pemberton went home and began making Coca-Cola syrup. But things didn’t go as well as he had hoped they would. That first year, he sold only 25 gallons of syrup, and there was no sign that the business would improve.
Discouraged, he sold almost all his shares in the business to Asa Griggs Candler, an Atlanta Druggist. Candler believed in advertising, and the famous Coca-Cola label began to appear everywhere.
The business was soon a roaring success. Only 32 years after he had bought the business for $283.29, Asa Griggs Candler sold it for $25 million.