SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s almost like something you would see from the ’50s or ’60s, a soda shop in downtown Salem that opened just a few weekends ago.
Lined up along the wall, 380 different types of sodas sit inside of KAST Iron Soda Works on State Street.
“One thing that we don’t have a lot of in town is just gathering places, outside of restaurants or bars, where people could just get together,” said Lesley Kline.
Kline started the business with her husband. They moved to her hometown about six years ago and bought what was an empty storefront last March.
It was right before the pandemic, which turned out to be both a good and bad thing.
“So we had a lot of build-out to do and it just couldn’t happen,” Kline said. “It gave us time to build it out and really think through some of our initial thoughts.”
They also sell draft sodas and are working on hand-crafted ones.
They can tell when a new customer comes in.
“They usually stop about five feet inside of the door and their eyes get big because they see the wall of sodas,” Kline said.
With many different flavors you probably haven’t heard of, such as apple pie, sweet corn and pickle soda, which was their first sellout.
“I think because it’s different. A lot of people are going right now for the really unique things,” Kline said.
She said she has noticed the downtown area making a comeback over the last few years.
When they wanted to name the store, they included their four daughters in the names: Kaitlyn, Abigail, Sydney and Tori, aka KAST.
“Family is a huge part of that for us and so we really wanted to incorporate that somehow into our name and KAST Iron Soda Works is what we came up with,” Kline said.
KAST Iron Soda Works is open Tuesdays through Saturdays and closed on Sundays and Mondays.