Company: Gr8Taste Water
Concept: Providing bottle-less water purification coolers and monthly service to businesses, homes and offices.
Story: In 2012, Gregg Weinberg walked away from a comfortable job as an account executive with a major coffee company to launch Gr8Taste Water. Having called on many major hotels, he quickly identified an opportunity to eliminate the need for those five-gallon plastic water bottles ubiquitous in so many offices, and ultimately add value by reducing costs, waste and the health issues associated with plastic bottles. “Our water machines convert existing tap water into the highest quality, hot and cold purified water instantly,” he said. The company’s slogan: “Think Outside the Bottle.”
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With just $4,000 in self-financing, Weinberg started Gr8Taste Water from his bedroom, using a walk-in closet as a warehouse.
Getting the small business off the ground required a lot of hard work, trial and error, and a little bit of luck. After he went through some challenges with various water cooler manufacturers, his current manufacturer actually found him on Google. “That was a godsend for me.”
By hitting the streets and making cold calls, Weinberg secured his first customer: the Mayfair Hotel and Spa. “I still adopt an old school, grass-roots sales strategy. Despite all the advances in technology, people still want to get to know who they’re doing business with.”
Soon he was securing other large hotel contracts in South Florida, including Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Loews Hotel, Hilton Miami Airport, Miami Beach Edition Hotel, Four Seasons Palm Beach, Sagamore Hotel, Clevelander Hotel, Thompson Miami Beach and Doubletree Miami Convention Center. They are installed in fitness centers, break rooms, spas, restaurants, laundry rooms and executive offices.
“We gave them an opportunity and they have met and exceeded everyone’s expectations. Service is off the charts,” said Leo Carrillo, vice president of facilities for Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
“By helping people and businesses eliminate the need for plastic water bottles, we make both a positive impact on the environment, as well as an economic impact by significantly reducing costs,” said Weinberg. “Everybody wins.”
Launched: June 2012
Management team: Gregg Weinberg, president and chief hydration officer.
Recent milestones: Recently awarded contracts to provide service to Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, Four Seasons Hotel-Miami, Intercontinental Hotel, Katsuya @ SLS Hotel, Coya Restaurant, Hyde Kitchen and Cocktails, Tiramesu-Miami Beach, Nautilus Hotel-South Beach, Aloft Hotel-South Beach and Boca West Country Club. Weinberg was a one-man operation for three years; he recently hired a service and support technician.
Biggest small business challenge: Getting key decision makers to pay attention to Gr8Taste’s unique value proposition. “There are about 25 hotels right now under construction in Miami, and I am trying to create interest with as many as possible,” Weinberg said. “As we grow and build the Gr8Taste brand here in South Florida, we will continue to focus on building a great reputation by offering the best solutions and providing our customers with the highest level of service and support.”