PARK CITY, UTAH – Doug Hollinger has a challenge for you: Try saying “Coca-Cola” without smiling.

He doesn’t think you can.

The co-owner of Park City Clothing has been in the clothing business for more than 35 years. He’s been a Coca-Cola collector for 30 of those.

When he and his wife opened their first clothing store in 1994, he wanted to bring those passions together.

“You want to give people an experience... something that’s different and unique," Hollinger explains. "I love doing this and I thought, ‘Other people will love it, too.’”

Hollinger started by housing bits of his personal Coca-Cola collection in the store, where the memorabilia became conversation pieces for customers. Now, more than 600 pieces of his 2,500-piece collection live among the clothing racks.

He knows that not all who visit his store are avid clothing shoppers, but he believes that everyone can connect with his collection.

“We get people from all walks of life ­– farmers to CEOs of huge companies – and we get people from all over the world,” he says. “Every single one of them can say Coca-Cola, and every one of them has a story about Coca-Cola. And it’s a good story.”

Hollinger continues, “My Coke story is the people I get to meet and making people happy.”

That, he achieves through Coca-Cola-forged connections.

Park City Clothing

Among Hollinger’s favorite items in his collection is a collection of Coca-Cola prints of World War II airplanes. Since putting them on display, several veterans have come into the store and told Hollinger that they flew the actual planes depicted.

Hollinger also recalls sons of Coca-Cola models identifying their mothers in old advertisements hung on the store’s walls. One customer was so excited to see his mom's face in the Coca-Cola ad that Hollinger sent him professional photos of a Coca-Cola tray with his mothers’ likeness on it.

Park City Clothing

Oftentimes, objects scattered through the store are gifts from customers who were touched by the collection. One former store patron shipped Hollinger a Coca-Cola can from Algeria.

“She probably only paid $1 for that can, but $19 to ship because she wanted me to have it,” he recalls, noting that he proudly displays the can along with other Coca-Cola memorabilia gifted to him by customers who are excited to share their love of the brand.

When someone shows a keen interest in his collection, Hollinger takes a box of Coca-Cola bottle openers and gifts one as a keepsake – a symbol of the connection they made over Coke.

“They’re smiling when they leave here," he concludes. "They enjoy coming back. And that’s what makes all this definitely worthwhile.”