Rochell was the son of John and Mary (Houston) Rochell of Tennessee. He attended district schools in Pulaski and took a job as a grocery clerk at Mt Pleasant at the age of 14. Three years later he opened his own store, which he sold in 1907 in order to move to Birmingham.
Rochell operated another store here for about a year and a half before going into the business of bottling soda water in 1909. He and his partners operated as Rochell & Duren and Rochell & Brown out of Ensley before 1910, when he founded the Jefferson County Bottling Works. In 1917 he began purchasing barrels of Grapico syrup from J. Grossman's Sons of New Orleans, Louisiana to bottle and sell in Alabama. He expanded to Mississippi with a bottle works in Hattiesburg the following year. He incorporated the company as the "Grapico Bottling Works" in 1920, just as prohibition helped create a spike in soft drink sales.
His success was tempered by a malfunctioning automatic bottle capper he purchased from the Crown Cork and Seal Company of New Orleans in 1921 and his failed investment in the Edgewood Amusement Company, which operated the former Edgewood Country Club at Edgewood Lake as a ballroom. In 1929 Rochell won his suit against Crown and, took control of Grapico's distribution rights across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Rochell added Orange Crush to his product line in 1926 and 7-Up in 1933, changing the name of his company to the "Orange Crush 7-Up Bottling Company". Just before his death in 1940 he secured the federal trade mark for Grapico and the slogan "The Drink of the Nation - Made its Way by the Way its Made".
Rochell had two children by his first wife (Clarence and Viola) and three by his second (Lois, Juanita and Ramona).
- Citizens Historical Association (February 13, 1937) "Raymond R. Rochell, Proprietor, Orange Crush Bottling Co." Biographical Sketches of Citizens of Birmingham and Jefferson County, Alabama Indexed and compiled by Birmingham Public Library, 1965
- "Grapico" (August 23, 2010) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia - accessed October 11, 2010