Asa G. Candler
The breakthrough for Coca-Cola came shortly after the company was formed, when Candler realized the potential of his patent syrup not as a miracle drug, but as a simple soda fountain drink. Candler sent salesmen across the U.S. instructing druggists how to market Coca-Cola. By 1895, Coca-Cola was sold in every state and by 1898, Coca-Cola had moved into Canada, Hawaii, and Mexico. In 1899, Candler signed a bottling contract with two Chattanooga lawyers, birthing the Coca-Cola franchise system, which remains the basis of the business.