If you sound it out, WTRMLN WTR translates to "watermelon water," a refreshing beverage made with everyone's favorite summer fruit — and little more. Since WTRMLN WTR moved its headquarters from New York City to RiNo earlier this year, the company is now a local business — and it's run by a local, too.
"We felt, at this point in our growth, the move to Denver would be the perfect fit," says native Coloradan Christine Perich, WTRMLN WTR's chief executive officer. "Denver is widely recognized as one of the healthiest and cleanest cities in the country, and this aligns perfectly with the WTRMLN WTR mission."
Owners Jody Levy and Harlan Berger started the company in 2013 with the idea of finding a use for discarded watermelons (a number that reaches around 800 million pounds each year, they note) and creating a healthy, all-natural beverage. So far it's been a success, and the founders are happy to share that success with Denver by not only creating jobs here, but by adding their product to the list of Denver's good-for-you draws. And with Beyoncé as an investor, perhaps they'll also draw the pop star to Denver for occasional visits.
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WTRMLN WTR is more than just a melon-flavored drink; it's cold-pressed watermelon juice from the pulp and rind. The signature flavor also includes a hint of organic lemon. The rind adds a vegetal flavor, which gives the drink additional body and a thirst-quenching quality. In addition to the original flavor, the drink comes in tart cherry, lime and ginger. The company says its drinks are great for getting a dose of vitamin C in the morning, upping your hydration before a workout, or later as a mixer for a happy-hour drink (with a shot of rum or blended into a frozen margarita, for example).
All of the melons in WTRMLN WTR come from the tons of so-called ugly produce that normally get discarded because distributors and grocery stores don't think customers will buy them. The company sources these melons beginning in early spring when the fruit starts growing in Florida and Texas. From there they use watermelons from all over the Midwest and Northeast until the end of watermelon season in late fall. To continue making the drink throughout the winter, WTRMLN WTR gets fruit from a private farm in Puerto Rico that produces around two million watermelons just for the company.
While production of the beverage happens around the United States and in Puerto Rico, the main operations will be centered at WTRMLN WTR's new space in RiNo, which will be completed this fall. Right now the company has temporary digs while its new building is under construction. WTRMLN WTR is sold in more than 10,000 stores across the United States; in Denver you can find it at Safeway and Whole Foods locations.