From The Founder

Dear Valued Clients &
Friends of Aqua Maestro
:

We’re going to “kick it up a notch,” as Emeril likes to say on his TV cooking show. Interest and response to our “Letter From the Founder” online publication – which debuted in May of this year – has encouraged us to expand the format.

With apologies to the legacy of Ayn Rand who wrote a novel for the ages with the same title, we’ve settled on “the FOUNTAINHEAD” as the publication’s new name. I don’t exactly know why. I guess we just decided that the word has a pleasant, watery sound, suggesting the possibility of worthy content. We count on you to give us your feedback.

The FOUNTAINHEAD’s format has expanded to include several new sections. In addition to a prefacing “FROM THE FOUNDER” segment, you will see: 

Continued features on a particular brand, or brands, called “FEATURED WATER.”

“PIPELINE” – a short collection of news from around and about the industry

“WELCOME ABOARD” – a summary of new hospitality accounts (hotels, restaurants, etc.) where consumers can enjoy Aqua Maestro waters

“WATER PIX” – digital photos sent to us by our clients. Submit your best water moment photos to be included in our e-newsletter and receive a free water gift basket. E-mail your submission to adb@aquamaestro.com

Other segments may evolve as we work through the first few months.

October is a tricky month of the year in South Florida – especially at a company like Aqua Maestro. On one hand, we are excited that the summer is drawing to a happy close, and “the season” is upon us both here and in many of the geographic regions we serve, notably the Caribbean. But October is also a “danger month.”  Lately, we have been most likely to get a tropical storm or hurricane in October – at least in South Florida.  And the memory of Wilma, who darkened our doorstep on October 24, 2005, still rattles the fillings in my teeth.

It seems the climate patterns have shifted, again – this time for the better – and the long range forecast now is for a full escape from Mother Nature in 2006.  We keep our fingers crossed.

As always, your readership and support is appreciated. Please feel free to email me at gene@geneddonney.com.

Thanks – Gene


Welcome Aboard

International House, LLC
221 Camp Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
(504) 553 9550
www.ihhotel.com/

Blue Moon Hotel
944 Collins Avenue
South Beach,
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
(305) 673 2262
www.bluemoonhotel.com/

Westin Park Central
12720 Merit Drive
allas, Texas 75251
(972) 385 3000
http://westin-dallas.felcor.com/

Tre Amici @ The Bunker
1907 N. 19th Street
Tampa, Florida 33605
(813) 247 6964
www.yborbunker.com

Village Marketplace
220 S. Ocean Blvd.
Manalapan, Florida 33462
(561) 238 0360
www.myvillagemarketplace.com/

Bijoux Restaurant
5450 W. Lovers Lane (inside Inwood Shopping Village)
Houston, Texas
(214) 350 6100
www.bijouxrestaurant.com

Rustic Cellar
409 SE Mizner Blvd
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
(561) 392 5237
www.rusticcellar.com/

Churrascos Restaurant Inc.
- Brazil USA

23049 State Road 441
Boca Raton, Florida 33428


Featured Water

Ty Nant

Roll the calendar back four years. My son, Gene R. and I were in the process of opening a new company called Aqua Maestro. We had done months of research. The initial research was to determine basic cost structure and if the business model we had in mind could be economically feasible. When we were satisfied with that, the next step was to scan the globe for great waters.

Unlike our current large inventory, we opened shop in 2000 with a rather small, but diverse, group of brands. One of the first products we agreed on quickly was Ty Nant.

We loved the famous blue bowling ball-shaped bottle. And the quality of the water from Wales was excellent.

Some things change – others stay the same. Ty Nant is one of those great things that hasn’t changed. Our admiration for this great brand, and its glorious signature blue bottle, are the same now as four years ago. When I finally had the opportunity, I visited the source.

The rural lanes of western Wales are an unending maze. Thank goodness for GPS in rental cars. Turn after turn after turn, and then suddenly, appearing out of nowhere (just like the GPS showed), I was at the driveway to Ty Nant. I knew the company had a state of the art facility, and their sense of style in their product and all their marketing materials predisposed me to expect something special. I was not disappointed.

My escorts were Nick Taylor, the person who basically runs all of Ty Nant for the brand’s Italian owner, and Simon Williams, the gentleman who had gotten Aqua Maestro started with them back in 2000. The elegant reception area had the chic feel of a modern office in northern Italy, displaying all the Ty Nant packages with commissioned art work.

The Ty Nant source is an amazing story that will certainly raise a few eyebrows. “Ty Nant,” in Welsh, means “house by the stream.” By the way, it is pronounced tee-nant, and the “nant” rhymes with “ant.” The valley is a plush watershed, but be assured that modern Ty Nant is not drawn from any stream or pond. When the original farmhouse was rebuilt in the 1970s, the owner wanted to find out if the property was situated over an acquifer, which is what he suspected. To do so, he employed a diviner.

“Diviner?” says I.  “Indeed so,” says Nick.  Divining rod in hand, the fellow patrolled the grounds until, apparently, he said something like: “Here it is.”  And believe or not, there it was.

Nick Taylor was involved in the design of the famous blue bottle, having studied art and design before getting into the water business.  The brand caught the eye of Italian beverage magnate, Pietro Biscaldi, and he bought the enterprise in 1996.  Under a deal with the Welsh Development Agency, they invested money and the result is the state-of-the-art facility we see today. 

The volume of production has grown so much that the water is now drawn from more than the original source, with additional quality bore hole locations having been subsequently “divined” – and there is slated to be even a further expansion of the bottling facility.  Bore Hole #3 is where Tau, Ty Nant’s sister brand, is drawn from. 

Total Dissolved Solids are a low 165 parts per million.  The pH is near-neutral 6.8.  Ty Nant has 22 milligrams per liter of Calcium, 116 mg/l of Bicarbonate, 11.5 mg/l of Magnesium, and scant .1 mg/l Nitrate content.  The small amount of sodium, 22 mg/l, is just enough to give a slight flavor to this water that has become a modern classic.

To order Ty Nant, please call or email Alexis Donney-Brillinger – 561 392 3336 x 100; adb@aquamaestro.com.


Pipeline

Finally, a good book on Fine Waters

And who better to write it than Mr. Fine Waters himself, Dr. Michael Mascha.

A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Most Distinctive Bottled Waters By Michael Mascha; Quirk Books; 4-7/8 x 8-1/2 in; 192 pp Hardcover ISBN 1594741190 "Fine Waters introduces readers to the epicurean delights of water, sharingthe ins and outs of the characteristics that provide various waters with their unique flavors, as well as recommended food pairings, stemware suggestions, and optimum serving temperatures for enjoying both still and sparkling waters. The book also provides tasting notes for more than 100 of the world's best bottled waters. Produced in full color, with photographs throughout, Fine Waters is the first guide to this up-and-coming food trend. Dr. Michael Mascha is a food anthropologist, culinary expert, and proprietor of finewaters.com. For more information, go to www.finewaters.com/store/book.html, or contact the author at Michael@finewaters.com.

And the beat goes on…

The final data is in from the Grocery Industry for 2005. In its “59th Annual Consumer Expenditures Study,” Progressive Grocer magazine listed the top fastest-growing categories in American supermarkets.

The envelope please…..And the Winner Is: BOTTLED WATER.

In 2005, Bottled Water sales experienced a staggering 17.8% growth. Second place went to Fresh Produce, sporting a 12.9% increase. Wines and liquors also had an uptick in 2005, but Juices and Drinks (frozen), and Coolers, both posted negative numbers for the year.

This data is a confirmation of the trend in bottled water that took grip almost a decade ago, and has been accelerating strongly for the past four years.

“New Beverages” at the Summer Fancy Food Show

The flavored drink industry is taking the “if-you-can’t-bet-‘em-join-‘em” approach. With the continued explosion in bottled water, and declines in old line sugary drinks, the logical strategy for flavored drinks to capitalize on the “water” identity and reinvent itself. And so they are.

The Summer Fancy Food Show saw a host of entrants into what some have dubbed the “New Age” beverage category. We’re not talking about the well-trodden Red Bull power drink arena – it refers to a new breed of flavored “waters” that seek to provide consumers with the wellness perception enjoyed by the bottled water segment, mixed with a little of this, and a little of that.

Wild Waters, created by a couple of beverage industry veterans, hangs its hat on containing “60-70% less sugar than typical kid’s drinks,” no artificial flavoring or high fructose sweeteners, a dab of essential nutrients, and a splash of vitamins A & C. The names of Wild Water’s flavors reflect the demographic slice they are pursuing: Flippin’ Fruit Punch, Groovin’ Grape, Rippin’ Raz Lemonade, Rockin’ Red Cherry, and so forth.

Other companies joining the “new” fray include: Skae Beverage International with their New Leaf Blue Tea collection, British Wholesale Imports (from California) who bring us the Belvoir line of flavored sparkling beverages, and ITO EN, with its designer coffee called Cafè Sepia.

Now, if there were a way to market beer as a kind of water……

NFL Football Equals Beverage Sales

With or without alcohol content, NFL football viewing brings out the most in beverage consumption. An article in Beverage World magazine showed a breakdown of what we drink, and how much more of it we drink, during footlball broadcasts.

In the Non-Alcoholic category, only regular sugar sodas and fruit drinks showed a slight decrease compared to the estimated consumption of those products by the same people when they were not watching football. Energy drinks – not a surprise – get the biggest boost in the NAB category during pigskin programming, and bottled water consumption is 2% higher.

But the Alcoholic Beverage category is where the real action is. Beer consumption jumps 20%; wine increases by about 15%; and spirits, aka “booze” goes up 16%. People find football very intoxicating.




© 2006