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

Fly Zone

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


Read more...

OB Poll: Wineries and groceries

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

24-winethumbA majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.


Read more...

Downtime

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


Read more...

Woman of Steel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Tamara Lundgren tackles the challenges—without getting trampled.


Read more...

The Bookseller

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Everyone knows college is expensive, but a look at the numbers brings that into sharp — and painful — focus.


Read more...

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


Read more...

The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


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