Starting out as a small soda manufacturing plant on Bastion Street during the late 19th century, Rummings Bottling Works is Nanaimo’s longest running soda bottling company. Famous for their delicious ginger beer, they also made all different types of sodas from fruit syrups, bitters and essences with flavours like lemon, raspberry and even rose.
Known for its superior quality and unique taste, the soda was made with speciality equipment from England. With the addition of William Edward Rumming, a professional soda water manufacturer from London who settled in Nanaimo in 1889, the business flourished early. After several years, Rummings took over the business and it was renamed the Rummings Bottling Works. They also added a new etched logo to the bottles that featured a crossed pick and axe – a nod to the coal mining industry with a truly iconic Nanaimo symbol. Today, original Rummings soda bottles are a prized antique and a rare find sought-after by many collectors.
Trucks carrying their products, like this one pictured above, travelled all throughout the city delivering soda to the community, eventually even expanding to plants in Ladysmith and Courtney. Known as one of the pioneer soda water companies of BC, the Rummings Soda name itself is a historical icon of Nanaimo.