KENTLAND — Premium Waters closed the transaction of acquiring Ice River Springs in Kentland during the middle of June, and now the new owners have a vision of expansion and becoming a community partner.
The Kentland facility was one of three Ice River Springs plants purchased by Premium Waters (Pittsfield, MA, and Allentown, PA).
“We will continue to analyze the business but we think we can expand the investment and workforce as we grow the business,” stated Bernie Zarda, Premium Waters, Senior VP Supply Chain. “We have already purchased a Rotary Blow mold that will increase plant output by 30%. We will be able to blow and fill bottles at over 1,000 bottles a minute. We are exploring other capital spends to improve plant performance, and I would expect us to spend several million dollars in equipment and infrastructure in the next couple of years. We are also pleased we can offer a more beneficial wage salary and benefits plan for our new teammates.”
With the addition of three new facilities, Premium Waters now has 11 small package plants in its portfolio. With other locations in Las Vegas, Kansas City, Fort Worth (TX), Greenville (TN), Jackson (MS), Quincy (IL), Chippewa Falls (WI), and Douglas (GA).
Zarda added that Premium Waters plans to add a significant amount of new equipment during the first quarter of 2020.
“We are increasing the plant capacity and are building relationships with our employees,” Zarda stated. “The one thing that I am passionate about is people, specifically our employees. Our Mission Statement says ‘We will value our People as our most important resource.’ We try to live that in all of our decisions.”
Premium Waters is also focusing on making an investment with the Kentland community.
“Our first value is that ‘We engage all partners to build lasting relationships — employees, customers, vendors, and communities.’ To support this we encourage all of our employees to volunteer in the community and actually have a paid day available for our employees to volunteer,” added Zarda. “We also invest in our communities and the philanthropic organizations in the communities we have employees. We have already made a small donation to an Eagle Scout project in the area and are looking for ways to support organizations that improve the communities we live in as well as help people that are in need. We believe it is our duty as an employer and a member of the communities that we select to invest. We are excited to see how we can impact Kentland and the surrounding area.”
“My goal for Kentland is to be a company with the reputation as a great place to work and be considered among the best corporate citizens in the area,” Zarda stated. “We have already started that journey.”
Premium Waters is owned by the Chesterman Company. The Chesterman Company is an independent family-owned and operated Coca-Cola Bottling Company based out of Sioux City, Iowa.
The company is described as a low cost, high-quality producer of private label water products for some of the most recognizable retailers in the country including Chippewa Springs, Glacier Clear, Glenwood, Nicolet, Kandiyohi Premium, Nature’s Crystal, and Water Joe.