From quirky Pexcho’s American Dime Museum to the $100 million Georgia Cyber Center, new business and industry locating in downtown Augusta is something to celebrate. That was certainly the case in 1936 when Augusta welcomed the Dr Pepper Bottling Company to the 1200 block of Broad Street – just feet away from where the new Hyatt House hotel stands. Created in Waco, Texas, in the 1880s, the soft drink was a largely a local specialty until it was introduced to 20 million people at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Widespread demand for the drink led to the formation of a network of independent bottling companies, including the one opened in Augusta by Everest McDade more than 80 years ago. When the plant began production, McDade presented the mayor with a case of the bottled soda and the Augusta Chronicle ran half-page ads listing the nearly 100 local vendors – nearly 30 on Broad Street alone – that carried the “King of Beverages.” Cool story, Hansel, but what does that have to do with Blanchard and Calhoun? Well, we were right by Mr. McDade’s side, providing the financial loan and insurance coverage for this exciting new addition to Augusta’s manufacturing industry. The next time you enjoy a cold Dr Pepper, we hope you’ll raise your glass to our family of businesses: Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate Company, Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance Agency, and Augusta Mortgage. You may not always see us, but we’re there – working behind the scenes for 100 years to build business in downtown Augusta and beyond.