Samuel "Sam" Ambrose Jessup (1877-1960) was a business and civic leader in Charlottesville during the first half of the twentieth century. Jessup moved from Martinsville to Charlottesville in 1908. He was founder of the Charlottesville Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. and the Monticello Dairy.
Jessup and his children at times ran various businesses - a dairy and ice cream plant, a bus company, an insurance business, a laundry, a beer franchise and a cigar company. He served eight years on Charlottesville City Council (1936-1939).
- Charlottesville Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. In 1908, Jessup obtained a license to bottle the 10-year-old soda product. Its many related products remains the principle family business with annual sales of 8.5 million cases a year and 362 current employees.
- Pepsi-Cola was originally created and developed in 1893 by Caleb Bradham, a young pharmacist in New Bern, North Carolina, who owned a drug store with a soda fountain.
- Monticello Dairy: Established in 1912 in a small room in Jessup’s bottling works on Fourth Street between Main and Water streets and later moved to Grady Avenue with more than 300 employees and a delivery fleet of 124 trucks and trailers.
- Virginia Stage Lines, later Virginia Trailways, purchased in 1926, grow into a 385-employee business with routes across most of Virginia and into North Carolina and Washington, D.C.
- City Laundry
- Anheuser-Busch beer franchise (sold to the Sieg family in the 1960s).
In 1936 Samuel Jessup, purchased a majority of Riverview stock, and became president of the company. His son Claude Jessup took over ownership following his death and ran the company until 1986. Riverview is still privately owned today.
Early life, family, death
Jessup’s father died when he was 5. He became an entrepreneur as a teenager, buying a small tobacco farm and starting a general store and a post office before moving from Patrick County to Martinsville in 1904 and then to Charlottesville four years later. Jessup was the father of five children. Jessup is internment in the family plot at Riverside Cemetery.
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- Web. Sam Jessup:Beyond the success of his Pepsi bottling business, he served on City Council for eight years, Bob Gibson, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, May 3, 2017, retrieved July 20, 2019. Print. May 3, 2017 page 1.