Gene Simmons – Meet & Greet event, Wegmans, Chili, NY – 09/18/2018

Review by John Jeffrey, photos by Thomas S. Orwat Jr.

Rochester, NY – On Tuesday, September 18, 2018 Gene Simmons made his second promotional appearance in support of his new line of soft drinks. Within a year from the band who has made Simmons famous, KISS, releasing it’s own “KISS Kola” (via Rocket Fizz), he is now the face of his own line of “pop,” Gene Simmons MoneyBag Sodas. It’s not everyday you see a member of KISS at your neighborhood grocery store, but that was exactly the case at the Chili-Paul Wegmans store on Tuesday afternoon.

Simmons teamed up with two KISS fans from Niagara Falls, NY to create the drink, and he made a point to come to Western New York to launch it. Simmons’ business partner Paul Janik, is the co-owner of the Johnnie Ryan soda company in Niagara Falls. Johnnie Ryan, is a third-generation family business in the Falls. They make “vintage sodas.” Brothers Paul and Chris Janik, both huge KISS fans, met Gene Simmons couple of years ago at a fan convention in Cleveland, and last year, the Janiks and company treasurer Christopher Haick formed the subsidiary, Rock Steady Sodas, to produce the MoneyBag line.

The Chili area Wegman’s sold out of the 250 tickets (each ticket was good for 2 people) required to participate in the “Meet & Greet” experience, as each participant paid $25 for a 4 pack of soda (flavor choices included: Cola, Diet Cola, Rootbeer & Gingerale) and a professional photo with Gene. The 500+ fans in attendance were floored about their opportunity to meet or just see Gene Simmons in person, and he was as personable as ever, ensuring a great experience for all fans who attended.

To purchase Gene Simmons – Moneybag Sodas, please visit

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