From The Founder

Dear Valued Clients &
Friends of Aqua Maestro


…a staple in old movies where the seen-it-all, cap-wearing mug at the newspaper stand hawks his chorus of “EXTRA” in unmistakable cadence, alerting the public. Whatever it is, it’s big; big enough to warrant an “extra” edition. An “extra” in bottled water hit the newsstands and airwaves in July.  Street criers long gone, the TV, radio, the Internet, and even Forbes Magazine decried the big secret: Aquafina and Dasani are bottled tap water.

This is the biggest splash by tap water since we’ve been around, and for all the wrong or right reasons depending on your point of view. Our viewpoint is in the PIPELINE section of this edition.

I guess most of you haven’t had much experience naming pet penguins. That was evident from the smaller than expected number of wildly diverse suggestions for our “Name The Penguin” contest. Aqua Maestro’s mascot since founding, the penguin you see above, had arrived at an identity crisis. At least that was the opinion of some clients and employees. So we staged a campaign to get name suggestions.

May I have the envelope please?"
“And the winner is: ‘PERRY’”

The contest was won by Ron Thaden.  Thanks, Ron – and please don‘t mind that we tinkered with the spelling.

We thank those of you who were kind enough to respond to our Aqua Maestro Company Questionnaire. We could use more input. If you have a few minutes, please click the secure link here - and this will bring you to our online questionnaire. The information is important because it helps us shape the business model for the future.

Company-wide business was steady in July, carrying on a good momentum that is unusual (happily) for the summer months. Home delivery business continued its June pace, while our wholesale division saw an increased volume of sales. Typically, June through September is the slowest time in our specialty industry, but this year has shown greater strength, which bodes well for the fall.

Aqua Maestro’s Waters of the Month are Spa Reine, from Belgium, and Ireland’s TipperarySpa is the PET plastic feature, in the 1.5 Liter classic blue package. The Emerald Isle’s best is the still version in the traditional glass bottle, in .75 Liter.

Management continues to analyze its product line, and may have some interesting and appealing additions for the fall. Logistics and organization precede new releases, and word is that the company is getting close to finalizing future dates. We’ll keep you posted.

July was hot. Very hot. Even states like Montana were stuck for many days with temperatures in excess of one hundred degrees. Stay hydrated!

As always, please feel free to email me at

Thanks – Gene

Welcome Aboard

Urb Market
2163 Wilton Drive
Wilton Manors, FL 33305

Hanover Marriott
1401 Route 10
Whippany, NJ 07981

North Central Distributors
P.O.Box 2328
Clarkburg, WV 26301
1-800-977-WINE (9463)

Bedford Springs Resort
2138 Business  Route 220
Bedford, PA 15522

YES Enterprises
8495 Lancaster-Thornville Rd NE
Pleasantville, OH 43148

Featured Water

Cape Karoo

The Paarl region in South Africa’s western cape is well known for its fine wines.  Like many European countries, where there’s fine wine there’s fine water.

Cape Karoo, formally organized in South Africa as Karoo Spring Water (Pty) Ltd, is a wonderful boutique gourmet water company established in the modern, post-Apartheid period. The water has been there – and been enjoyed – for countless centuries, but the business is relatively new. Cape Karoo’s source and plant is in the Paardeberg Mountains, on the Weltevrede Estate.

The color and the flowing design of Cape Karoo’s signature bottle makes a statement that is hard to ignore. In fact, the special shade of Cerulean blue used in the manufacture of each perfect glass sculpture makes the entire consumption experience noteworthy and glamorous. In its relatively short existence, Karoo has found its way to add atmosphere in stylish restaurants, minibars (in its 250 ml mini size), trendy bars and clubs, and the homes of Aqua Maestro’s private clients. 

Cape Karoo is the perfect blend of good taste and great health. The brand promotes its South African heritage, proudly using the slogan “Pure Africa.” The taste begins with its neutral pH. At 6.8, the taste buds are free to detect any of the other chemical traits. With Total Dissolved Solids of 301 milligrams per liter, Karoo falls in the Aqua Maestro classification of a “medium” mineral water, a category populated with other greats including Ramlosa of Sweden, and Vittel, Perrier, and Cristaline from France. 

The water has low Sodium at a mere 29 mg/liter, and a very light Calcium content weighing only 15 mg/l. The minerals are primarily a product of Sulphates, Chlorides, some Magnesium, and Bicarbonates. Nitrates are under 1 mg/l, ensuring that the quality and purity of Cape Karoo are beyond question.

To ensure highest quality standard, Cape Karoo is not only laboratory tested, but also taste tested, several times during each production run. An independent laboratory according to strict regulations analyzes every batch. The quality and product consistency is such that Cape Karoo has established export markets in the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, and USA.

To order, please call or email Alexis Donney-Brillinger in the Private Client Division – 561 392 3336 x 100; Wholesale inquiries should be directed to Shirley Costanza,


Dasani & Aquafina: The Truth of the Tap

Pepsi Cola-North America spokesperson, Michelle Naughton, said: "If this helps clarify the fact that the water originates from public sources, then it's a reasonable thing to do." The “this” to which Ms. Naughton refers is spelling out on Aquafina’s label that the content of the bottle is tap water. Plain and simple.

No more snow-capped peaks; maybe something like: “AQUAFINA is no less hazardous to your health than drinking from a garden hose.”

Aquafina, which is owned by Pepsico, had company in its misery. Coca-Cola’s Italianate-named Dasani, oozing European epicurian elegance, actually oozes out of the municipal water system. And not just in America, where journalists are not nearly as acid-tongued as in England. When the Dasani sold in the UK was found out as water straight from the London public supply, Fleet Street had a ball with headlines like: "Coke's in hot water," "Eau dear" and "The real sting."

Coca-Cola has said it will start posting “information online” later this summer concerning its “testing.” I don’t think that will appease the watchdog groups right now. For the moment, Dasani’s web site merely states that ”…you get refreshment your taste buds craves and the refeshment you body needs.”

Ironically, one of the consumer/environmental groups, Corporate Accountability International, is concerned that marketing of Aquafina and other brand names leads consumers to choose bottled over tap water. Which doesn’t seem to make a heckuva lot of sense since the bottles contain tap water. Other consumer groups are focused on the use of plastic bottles, but that’s a topic whose scope dwarfs just tap water, as hundreds of billions of dollars per year of various beverages are sold in plastic bottles throughout the world.

Aqua Maestro, North America’s leading purveyor of fine bottled waters, has been preaching what recently made headlines since its founding in 2002. Fine water is a gourmet product like fine cheese and fine wine. Cheese spread and jug wines also exist – but they may not be as good for your health, and they don’t offer the same quality experience. Natural fine waters allow discerning consumers to select based on the natural chemical content, carbonation, and presentation. And the majority of Aqua Maestro’s huge selection is available in glass bottles.

Religious Right Water?

You can't make this stuff up. The following story, which has made the rounds in the water business, is straight from Associated Press:

It may not be holy water, but plans to sell bottled water from a spring at his Liberty University certainly had the Rev. Jerry Falwell's blessing. Falwell envisioned the 16.9-ounce bottles of Liberty Mountain Natural Spring Water as novelty items. Plans are to sell it at the museum bearing his name, the school's visitor center and possibly at athletic and church events, school officials said. "He saw it as sort of a souvenir," said Jerry Falwell Jr., Falwell's son who took over as chancellor of the university after Falwell died on May 15. "He thought it was a memento that people could take back home after visiting Liberty."

The spring is located on university property once owned by the late U.S. Sen. Carter Glass, who used it to provide water for his mansion, which now serves as the school's administrative offices.

The spring had been out of commission for at least three decades until about six months ago, when Falwell decided to get it going again..."

A company called Grand Springs bottling will clean the water, bottle, and label it.

The Need to Recycle

Most people who are concerned with their physical wellness and health also care about the health of our environment. Much has been written and reported about rising concerns about wasted energy associated with plastic bottles, cans, and glass bottles. Those concerns and those reports are right-on. Refuse is not finding its way where it belongs – which is in THE RECYCLE BIN.

It’s hard to say exactly why, but according to statistics cited in the current issue of Bottled Water Reporter, recycling in general peaked in 1996. The actual recycled weight fell 9% in the 1990s while the tons of beverage packaging rose 15%. Who’s the culprit?

Unfortunately, like many things, it begins at home. More than half of the PET thrown away in the USA comes from a residence, as does over 60% of the aluminum and glass. The answer is individual awareness and commitment. Aqua Maestro sells lots of glass bottles and PET plastic bottles – and we’d really like to feel that after the bottle is empty it goes where it belongs: THE RECYCLE BIN.

(Reprise) A lot of the smart money…

…will be in Mumbai (formerly “Bombay”) India November 29 and 30 for a trade show centered on PET plastic and the acceleration of bottled non-alcoholic beverage (“NAB”) brands in the country. Consider the metrics: India’s middle class stands at around 300 Million people, and is the driving sector in their internal economy. To put the size of this group in perspective, it represents the equivalent market of Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the UK combined. Not only that, but it grows 100,000 people per day.

As previous PIPELINE features have documented, India and China are without doubt the two most dynamic NAB opportunities on the planet. It will be most interesting to see which group strikes the right chord with taste, functionality, and packaging appeal. Anyone for Curry Carpe Diem?

© 2007