Source for new artesian water business found in Eastern Oregon

| Print |  Email
Tuesday, May 01, 2007

waterbottle.jpg

COVE — The ever-thirsty market for bottled water is bringing a surge of business to a small Eastern Oregon company.

Cove-based Janus Industries now is a regional supplier for Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s biggest retailer, as well as two Kroger divisions, Fred Meyer and QFC.  Janus route drivers also deliver bottled water to convenience store chains from Ellensburg to the Yakima Valley, and provide the firm’s private label Artesian Blue Water to offices and businesses in Eastern Oregon.

“If you walk into a Wal-Mart and pick up Great Value water, the label will say, ‘bottled by Janus Industries in Cove, Oregon,’” says Terrie Meredith, Janus general manager.

It all began a decade ago when ranchers Ken and Jeanette Knott drilled a well on their place near Cove. They were looking for irrigation water; what they tapped into, at a depth of 1,200 feet, was an artesian spring with pure water that flowed at a hefty 118 gallons a minute.

“It tested unbelievably pure,” says Meredith, the couple’s daughter. “My mother said, ‘The water’s so good we should bottle it.’”

The Knotts’ water company initially had four employees: Ken, Jeanette, Meredith and another daughter, Tina Hurst. “We hand-packed, hand-taped, made boxes ’til midnight. We were not automated at all,” Meredith says.

Then Janus landed the Wal-Mart contract. “Very quickly we realized you can’t supply Wal-Mart unless you’re automated. It’s all about quantity.”

The company now has a year-round staff of 17 employees, who work in a fully automated 30,000-square-foot plant in Cove, a quiet farm and ranch town of 680 residents 16 miles east of La Grande. Janus is Cove’s largest private employer.

“When we got the Wal-Mart contract we knew we could put people to work,” Meredith says, adding that Janus has been proud to provide a boost to an area of Oregon hard hit by cutbacks in the timber industry and mill closures.

She adds that business has doubled every year. “Last year we had a great winter, our busiest ever.”

The water company is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the state Department of Environmental Quality. “We’re a clean industry,” says Meredith. “We recycle everything at this facility.”

— Jeanie Senior

 

Comments   

 
Guest
+2 #1 who sells your water bottlesGuest 2013-03-02 16:29:46
We were at the company last summer with the RV group Kings Travelers. We love your water. Our grandson who lives in salem have type1 diabetes and the bad thyroid. He loves your water so we would like to buy some for him and then see if there is a sourse for him to get it. Thank you for your response. C.A. Daniels
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Guest
+2 #2 PatriotGuest 2014-06-15 05:37:28
do they add fluoride?
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Old school: Paulsen's Pharmacy maintains old fashion ethos

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121914-pharmacy-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Under the radar — complete with a soda counter, the traditional Paulsen's Pharmacy looks to compete with big box retailers.


Read more...

Which Way to Chinatown?

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

The Jade International District, already Portland's center of Asian life, is poised for rejuvenation. Where does that leave the westside's historic Chinatown?


Read more...

Justice for All

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Lawger upends the typical hourly based fee model by letting clients determine the cost.


Read more...

LEED for weed

News
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
012815-potcarbon-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

What is the impact of the legal pot industry on carbon emissions? An NEBC energy forum breakfast makes the case for taking the new industry’s emissions impacts seriously.


Read more...

Will Medford Ever Be Cool?

February 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
BY DAN COOK | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A real-estate developer and a Lithia Motors executive aim to revamp the city's forlorn downtown.


Read more...

Carbon Power

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Researchers in a multitude of disciplines are searching for ways to soak up excess carbon dioxide, the compound that contributes to global warming.


Read more...

Playoffs pay off for the Ducks

The Latest
Friday, January 02, 2015
oregon-ducks-logo-helmet-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The University of Oregon football team looked unstoppable on the field Jan. 1 — and the university is reaping the benefits of the new postseason format.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS