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
+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

Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER

Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


Read more...

Streetfight

News
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


Read more...

Top stories in 2014

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
10-listthumb

2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


Read more...

Behind the curtain: What students should know about accreditation and rankings

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 04, 2014
120414-edurating-thumbBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How important are institutional and/or program evaluations provided by third parties in selecting a college or university program?


Read more...

5 companies react to lower fuel prices

The Latest
Thursday, January 15, 2015
thumb-shutterstock 233787049BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Consumers love the savings they get from low oil prices, but how has business been affected?


Read more...

Corner Office: Steve Tatone

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits about the president and CEO of AKT Group.


Read more...

Crowdfunding 2.0

News
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
120214-crowdfund-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with attorney Erich Merrill about the latest way to raise money from large groups of people.


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