One of the best things about Hood College is its proximity to vibrant downtown Frederick. As such, it is important for any student to get out and explore all that the area has to offer. Just a 15-minute walk from campus, Maryland’s largest soda shop is one of the spots that make downtown so unique. Often simply referred to as the Pop Shop, the small business once held a modest 50 kinds of soda pop. But since its conception in 2011, it has changed owners, moved to a new location, and evolved to include around 500 kinds of pure cane sugar, glass-bottle soda, locally made ice cream, award-winning hot-dogs and a plethora of retro candies. The Pop Shop is the perfect stop for anyone who enjoys the sweet and/or fizzy. The shop also offers several diet, vegan and gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions. “We love giving people options so that families and friends can all meet in one place and at least there are options available for everyone,” said owner Michelle Schaffer. Schaffer, who was born and raised in the Midwest, moved to Frederick in 2011. In October 2013 she began running the Pop Shop. About three and a half years ago the shop moved to its current location at 241 N Market St. Downtown Frederick’s growth into a tourism hot spot and the its eclectic collection of shops and restaurants makes it the perfect home for the Pop Shop, according to Schaffer. “I love that even though there are some places that may compete with my product selection, the overall community really wants everyone to succeed and grow,” said Schaffer. The next time you and your friends are thirsty, hungry or both and want to try something new, stop by the Pop Shop and browse their collection. Try one of their 80 types of root beer, the communist classic, Leninade, or sip on a bacon-flavored soda. If you are feeling extra adventurous, try the Buffalo Wing Soda. You can even combine any flavor soda with any flavor pop and create your own float. “My favorite float is a blueberry soda with lemon ice cream, it tastes like fruit loops and is not around all the time, so I wait in anticipation,” said Schaffer. “I always suggest people tell us what kind of things they like and then we pick out something special just for them.” North Market Pop Shop will also be introducing some new seasonal flavors, like pumpkin, peppermint, and eggnog, as fall and winter approach. Make sure to take some time and pop on in. Schaffer and her team want everyone to “experience and enjoy” all that the shop has to offer.