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Schoolyard humor aside, a micro-bottler from Pompano Beach wants you to enjoy his Mr. Q. Cumber -- a 90-calorie soda, flavored with cucumber extract. Owner of Global Beverage Enterprises, Jeff Kaplan, asks: Why ruin a perfectly good meal by choosing a traditional high-fructose soda? Let's face it: Other than the widely popular Coca-Cola or Pepsi products, indie sodas aren't as easy to find -- even from local bottlers like Kaplan.
Kaplan is based in Pompano Beach and celebrates success in states like Oregon or California. But his hometown? Not so much. Despite many fans of the drink and overwhelming success at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (he gave away just under 500 samples), major supermarkets like Publix or Whole Foods won't sell his product. "Big companies don't want to take the chance," says Kaplan. But you can still find Mr. Q. Cumber.
While ringing up a very inexpensive sushi meal at Tokyo Sushi in the food court of the
Coral Ridge Mall in Fort Lauderdale, the cashier suggested I try a Mr. Q. Cumber. She explained that it was a delicious and natural alternative to other soft drinks. I popped open the small green bottle and tasted a light and refreshing
soda with a mild cucumber flavor. The low-cal carbonated drink paired
well with my sushi dinner, and I admit it was a nice alternative to the high-sugar colas that many of us often purchase instead.
Want more soda options in your supermarkets and to support local microbottlers like Kaplan? Kaplan says to make sure to ask your neighborhood market to stock Mr. Q. Cumber. In the meantime, here's a list of places to find the refreshing drink:
Smoothie Jungle Locations - 924 E. Cypress Creek Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, and 3208 W. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Cafe Turin Coffee Shop (Located in the Swap Shop on Sunrise Boulevard, inside the food area near the stage)
Smoothie King - 1135 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Tokyo Sushi (Located inside the food court of the Coral Ridge Mall on Oakland Park Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale)
Yokohama Sushi - 60 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton
New Asia Restaurant - 2600 Glades Circle, Ste. 700, Weston
Coconut Wine & Spirits - 4859 Coconut Creek Parkway, Coconut Creek
Nutrition S'Mart Locations - 16250 NW 57th Ave., Miami Lakes; 12594 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines; 4155 N. Lake Blvd., Ste. B, Palm Beach Gardens
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L' Hermitage Catering & Gourmet - 3045 N. Federal Highway, Ste. 38, Fort Lauderdale