Home Back Issues May 2007 Source for new artesian water business found in Eastern Oregon

Source for new artesian water business found in Eastern Oregon

| Print |  Email
Archives - May 2007
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
+1 #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

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...

Podcast: Testing for Emotional Intelligence with John Hersey

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 19, 2014
ivbU3sIXBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

How can you tell if you, a peer, a subordinate or a job candidate has the emotional intelligence needed to do well?


Read more...

Downtime

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

How State Representative Julie Parrish (House District 37) balances life between work and play.


Read more...

A Recipe for Success

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Two businesswomen, two iconic food brands and one food-obsessed city. We thought this sounded like a recipe for good conversation. So in late August, Oregon Business sat down with Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, to discuss their rapidly expanding businesses and Oregon’s trendsetting food scene.


Read more...

Powerlist: Law Firms

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with leading partners at law firms in Portland and eastern Oregon, followed by October's powerlist.


Read more...

Downtime

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

I'm not very interesting,” says a modest Ray Di Carlo, CEO and executive producer of Bent Image Labs, an animation and visual effects studio.


Read more...

College Conundrum

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

University and college tuition fees have been rising for more than a decade, while state funds for higher education have steadily declined.


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