Stanford Frank, 92, president of Frank's Beverages

Stanford Frank
Stanford Frank
Posted: February 06, 2014

Stanford Frank, 92, of Bala Cynwyd, the last president of Frank's Beverages, a Philadelphia bottling company known for its black cherry wishniak soda, died Thursday, Jan. 30, of age-related illness at his home.

Mr. Frank was the grandson of Jacob Frank, who founded the beverage company in 1895 in South Philadelphia. In its heyday, the last half of the 20th century, Frank's was the largest privately owned beverage bottling company in the Philadelphia area.

It prospered under the advertising slogan "If it's Frank's, thanks!" which could be heard on radio and seen on billboards.

"We had Richie Ashburn and Greg Luzinski and Dave Cash Jr. of the Phillies," said his daughter, Paula. "They all advertised for our company."

The firm bottled Yoo-hoo chocolate drink, Schweppes mixers, Nestle's iced tea, and Evian and Poland Spring bottled waters. But Frank's was most famous for black cherry wishniak, a fruity, dark-red soda that went well with hoagies, cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, and other Philadelphia fare.

The Polish word for cherry is wisnia. Wishniak also refers to a semisweet cherry liqueur from Poland.

Mr. Frank assumed the presidency of the company in 1968 after the death of his father, Manuel. He ran the company from offices in Northeast Philadelphia. The firm had moved there in the 1960s because South Philadelphia streets were too narrow for tractor-trailers.

The Frank's bottling plants at G and Luzerne Streets and Luzerne and Front Streets were commercial landmarks in Philadelphia for many years, said Mr. Frank's children, Allan and Paula, in a tribute. Both are former company executives.

The firm employed hundreds of people, "and the red Frank's delivery trucks were a familiar sight at corner stores throughout the Philadelphia area," it read.

Beset by competition and other factors, Mr. Frank retired and sold the business in the late 1990s.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Frank graduated in the late 1930s from Pennsylvania Military College, now Widener University. He served in the Army in World War II before returning to work in the family business.

Mr. Frank was known for his philanthropy. He supported Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the American Cancer Society, Hahnemann University Hospital's Division of Cardiology, Widener University, the Scleroderma Foundation, the Variety Club of Philadelphia, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

He was a Mason and a member of the Green Valley Country Club and the Bala Golf Club.

In his young adulthood, he boxed as an amateur, his daughter said.

His wife, the former Sylvia Katzeff, died a year ago. They were married for 71 years.

Surviving, besides his son and daughter, are three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Another daughter, Karen, died in 1990.

Services were Feb. 2.

Donations may be made to Jefferson Heart Institute Clinical Research at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals via http://connect.jefferson.edu/makeagift.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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