In ancient Greek, Aristos means “the best.” And that’s exactly what Josh Ingram hopes his company, Aristos Beverages, will be for consumers, the community and for the environment. The Camdenton-based company began selling canned water in April around the Lake of the Ozarks and in Jefferson City, outfitting grocery stores, gas stations and other local businesses with an alternative to single-use plastic water bottles at a comparative price.
A foray into the beverage business wasn’t just a wild hare of an idea. Ingram’s company provides water filtration systems for coffee shops across the country and around the world, with distribution reaching as far as Canada and China, and as close as Three Story Coffee in Jefferson City.
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“We have a chemist that we work with who kind of came up with the mineral content or the formula,” Ingram says. “It’s specifically designed for extraction of coffee and tea, but it also carries over into flavor, a drinking beverage or also in baking.” The idea of going from water filtration to water bottling just made sense, Ingram says. “We’ve taken the water that we’re known for and canned it; we’re pretty good at making water, so we figured that would be a good place to start and maybe branch out into different beverages as it grew and caught on,” he explains. In the future, Ingram says they’ll work toward creating natural energy drinks and other flavored beverages.
Movement toward canned water in the industry has been trending upward, but consumers have one major complaint, as Ingram quickly found out. “The big thing with everyone when I asked them about it was, ‘well, water in a can is no good because you can’t reseal it.’” So, he found a solution: a resealable lid. Aristos is one of the very companies that offers this option, and sources the lids from a company based in Germany. The lids flip open in a similar fashion to a standard canned lid, then slide back into place when ready to be resealed.
In addition to striving for sustainability, a large part of Aristos’ mission is to give back to the community, which is why they’re donating 20 percent of profits to local charities. “Our plan is that we really want to help the community, because we’ve been super blessed in our lives so the least we can do is just give back and help others,” Ingram says. “20 percent of our profit we’re going to give back to help kids in need. We’ve teamed up with a local charity that’s super good at what they do. It’s called Lake of the Ozarks Idiots Club. Kind of a goofy name, but they say they’re idiots for kids. They’re doing some great stuff in the community so far.”
As a U.S. veteran, Ingram also hopes to partner with charities that help those who have served in the armed forces, as well as to create a commemorative natural energy drink for a fellow soldier and friend who was killed in Afghanistan. But they’re not just stopping at donations – Ingram wants the benefits to begin at the worksite, by providing living-wage jobs to the community. “We’re all in this together,” Ingram says. “It’s not all about just getting us a bunch of money; it’s about everybody being happy.”
Pick up a can of Aristos at mid-Missouri businesses including HyVee in Osage Beach, Three Story Coffee and Paulie B’s in Jefferson City, and soon, Casey’s General Stores. Keep an eye out on Aristos’ social media sites to see where they’re heading next.
Aristos Beverages, aristosbeverages.com