For Steve Fortuna, staying sane while navigating bear and bull markets in the world of high finance was all thanks to his passion for gardening. A few years ago while tending to his garden in the Berkshires, Steve had a refreshing epiphany.
“The inspiration was simple,” Steve said. “Imagine if one could infuse water with the beautiful aroma and flavor of flowers.”
That was in 2011. About fifteen months later, Steve and his wife Trish launched the original Blossom Water line in 2013 featuring Lemon Rose, Plum Jasmine, Grapefruit Lilac and Pomegranate Geranium flavored waters.
Capturing the delicate alchemy of flowers in a refreshing beverage was challenging to say the least.
“The co-packing concept is pretty straight forward,” Steve said. “What’s complicated is the formulation. It’s complicated because you have to get the right balance of fruit and flower. We’ve tried innumerable fruit and flower combinations.”
Too much sugar, and the drink becomes saccharine and heavy. Too little, and the flavor profiles of flowers have nothing to cling to, and end up falling flat. Once the Blossom Water team cracked it, they were left with a perfectly actualized drink, in four flavors no less.
“I’m snooty, I’m a big wine guy, a big food guy so I think I have a pretty darned good palate so to pass my taste test isn’t that easy,” Steve said. “Which is why it took so long. I needed to get perfection in the formulation.”
The concept of kicking-up beverages with flowers isn’t terribly new. After some preliminary research, Steve discovered that the first recipe for rose water dates back to the 11th century. Orange blossom water and lilac have been a fixture of drinks across France. Jasmine in beverages is ubiquitous across Asia. As far as the U.S. market goes, the concept is virtually untapped.
“We quickly learned that this wasn’t something new to mankind, but it was still new and novel to the U.S. market,” Steve said.
Gale Fortuna of Blossom Water believes the drink concept is more than a fleeting fad.
“It’s not just novel for the sake of being novel,” Gale said. “People get so tired of the same fruit flavors they’ve had for eons.”
Since launching, Blossom Water has encountered swift growth. Currently, Blossom Water is available on store shelves in chains like Whole Foods, Wegmans and recently Kroger.
“[Kroger] is our biggest win to date,” Steve said. “We have a large national distribution footprint and are very excited about the future.”
Steve believes that even though Blossom Water is a premium beverage, it has the power to become a massive national brand. The beverage comes with many selling points including its originality, and being Kosher and Non-GMO certified as well as Gluten Free.
“It is premium, but we believe that the product is mainstream,” Steve said. “We’re very excited about the future.”
For more information on Blossom Water or to find a retailer near you visit their website.