By LeRae Haynes –
Cool Clear Water provides a high quality, healthy product and stellar customer service, helps protect the environment, and builds community connections. Cool Clear Water is 25 years old, and those principles are the business’s cornerstones.
“The very first time someone comes in the door, we find out what they need and show them what we’ve got,” said store manager Cathy Rosner, adding that in the end, Cool Clear Water owner Bob Kjelsrud’s big goal is to 100 per cent build a relationship with that person.
Rosner has been Cool Clear Water’s store manager for nearly five years and has worked for 30 years in retail management.
“Our customers are amazing,” she added. “We make true and wonderful connections.”
One of the unique things about Cool Clear Water is a business expansion that featured the purchase of a state-of-the-art bottling machine from San Antonio, Texas. It’s the only one in town and can process and fill 250 bottles an hour. It circulates 12 bottles at a time, cleaning, sanitizing, and filling.
“We have a lot of mills and mines as clients,” said Rosner. “They trust us with their water supply and appreciate our customer service. We deliver once a week to both local mines; our delivery guys take 100-200 bottles a week and deliver them to 17 different locations at Mt. Polley and 30 at Gibraltar.”
Quality is a main focus at Cool Clear Water. All the bottles are date coded, and bottles from the mines are kept separate from residential bottles for quality control. Ozone, particle, and taste tests are done daily.
“I was a customer for 20 years before I started working here,” she said. “I believe in this water.
“People love the taste of our water, and it leaves behind no residue in appliances and coffee makers and comes in BPA-free bottles.”
In response to what customers want, Cool Clear Water started providing alkaline water. “Some people feel cancer can’t live in an alkaline environment, so they prefer it,” Rosner explained. “We’re the only ones carrying it. A lot of our new clients have moved up from the coast, and they request it.”
Cool Clear Water also helps with recycling projects, providing unusable water bottles for people who use them to grow tomatoes. They also save them for ranchers to use them for watering horses and cows.
Rosner said a lot of people are switching to buying their own reusable individual serving size bottles and refilling them. “They’re getting away from buying those big flats of bottled water—being more environmentally friendly. It’s affordable, easy, and ‘green. Want to get away from plastic bottles? There are options and we can help.”
Building relationships with individuals and with the community is what Kjelsrud is all about. “He is everybody’s friend and he loves to support the community,” said Rosner. “He’s been here his whole life, wants events and fundraisers to succeed, and wants his community to thrive.”
The store takes on students every year, offering support, training, and skill enhancement that can transfer to everyday life and help students achieve their goals.
The company supports countless local fundraisers, events, and organizations. It is a huge supporter of the SPCA, hospice, and countless more.
“We’re the biggest animal lovers around here,” Rosner added. “Liz, the manager at the SPCA shelter, recommends our pet food, which has absolutely taken off. Lots of issues are solved for pets, just by the food they eat. People brings their dogs here for a visit, or for the treats and the water.”
Customer service is incredibly important at Cool Clear Water. The company offered a product and service that people want and need, in a professional and personable manner. “Here we take it further: the funny signs in our parking lot, for example,” she continued. “People drive by just to see what our signs say and take pictures.”
Cool Clear Water supplies water for all non-profit events who ask, including the Station House Gallery, the museum, and Dry Grad every year, as well as countless hockey tournaments.
“Your events are our events: we supply water and a cooler, and nobody gets turned down,” Rosner said. “We’re here to help.”
For more information, visit Cool Clear Water on Facebook, phone (250) 398-2665, or drop by 298 Mackenzie Ave South.
LeRae Haynes is a freelance writer, song writer, community co-ordinator for Success by 6, member of Perfect Match dance band, and instigator of lots of music with kids.