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The Cape`s favourite soft drink celebrates 115 years of refreshment with a Cola Tribute Edition


While most soft drinks in the world are now owned and bottled by one of three major companies, there’s still a rich mosaic of “hand-crafted”, soda poppa companies out there doing what they’ve been doing for the last hundred years or so — and doing it damn well.

Bashew’s is as integral a part of the Cape’s history as the gatsby and to celebrate over 115 years of refreshment the company has launched new Harry’s Cola Tribute Edition in honour of one of its founding fathers.

It all started in the spring of 1899 when the South African War broke out and thousands of British soldiers were based on Green Point Common in Cape Town on their way to the north. The two Bashew brothers – Harry and Marx – saw an opportunity to cater for the needs of the soldiers, most of whom had never been exposed to such a hot climate or the notorious South-Easter. By supplying them with their fruity soft drinks, the brothers soon built up a good reputation with their horse and cart for bringing much needed refreshment to the military mess.

Harry BashewLR The Cape`s favourite soft drink celebrates 115 years of refreshment with a Cola Tribute Edition

Harry Bashew

After the war, in 1902 the Bashew brothers capitalised on their good reputation and shifted their focus to supply the civilian community with their soft drinks. A larger wagon pulled by two horses as well as a new filling machine helped to keep up with the demand. In 1903 the company moved to larger premises in Aspeling Street in District 6 and soon shops were supplied with Bashew’s soft drinks across Cape Town.

In 1913 the Bashew brothers opened a new factory in Searle Street in Cape Town. As the demand for their colourful soft drinks grew, the brothers purchased their first vehicle in 1918 for deliveries to the city’s northern suburbs.

bashew horse chart e1510656345609 The Cape`s favourite soft drink celebrates 115 years of refreshment with a Cola Tribute Edition

Sadly, Harry passed away in 1947 followed two years later by his brother Marx. They were mourned by many and fondly remembered not only as businessmen but public benefactors as well.

After their death, Bashew Bros. remained a family business headed by Charles Bashew, the son of Harry, and Felix Heymann, the son-in-law of Marx Bashew. In 1951 the company took occupation of a new factory worth R200 000 on a three acre site in Gunner’s Circle, Epping.

epping e1510657052281 The Cape`s favourite soft drink celebrates 115 years of refreshment with a Cola Tribute Edition

During 1955 the company established franchise agreements with three world famous international soft drinks companies providing Bashew Bros. access to the latest recipes and techniques developed in America and Europe.

The Bashew family relinquished ownership of the company in 1969 when they sold it to Cape Town businessman Ismail Mammon. Mr Mammon moved the Bashew’s factory from Epping to Belville. His son, Moosa took over the business after his father’s death in 1991, and sold it to Zahir Williams and Mehboob Adams in 2009.

In 2010, Chill Beverages International (Pty) Ltd, a Stellenbosch based company, partnered with Mr Williams and Mr Adams to increase the bottling capacity and product offerings bearing the Bashew’s name. In 2016 Chill Beverages acquired sole ownership of Bashew’s, ensuring that the cultural heritage and authenticity of these colourful soft drinks live on in the Western Cape.

Today Bashew’s is available in eight fun filled flavours at a pocket friendly price. The new Bashew’s Harry’s Cola Tribute Edition is available exclusively in the Western Cape at retails at around R4.99 per 330 ml can.