A cool approach to bottled water

Mallory
Mallory Clarkson
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Toronto company taps Port Union as site of production facility

Icebergs: they're pretty, they're dangerous, slivers of them go great with orange juice, and soon they'll be used to make refreshing bottled water.

Canadian Iceberg Water Corp. is moving into Port Union to occupy the old building that used to be the Coaker retail store.

Bruce Sweetland, chairman of the Coaker Foundation, is flanked by Harold and Lloyd Russell in front of the future site of Iceberg Water Corporation's new bottling facility. - Photo by Mallory Clarkson/The Packet

Port Union -

Icebergs: they're pretty, they're dangerous, slivers of them go great with orange juice, and soon they'll be used to make refreshing bottled water.

Canadian Iceberg Water Corp. is moving into Port Union to occupy the old building that used to be the Coaker retail store.

"We're waiting for the exterior to be finished before we start work on the interior," said David Sacks, president of Iceberg Water, a company based in Toronto.

"Because they're restoring (the building) to the original format, it's taking a lot longer to build than a new building."

Iceberg also has gin and vodka lines that are produced in St. John's.

Once the exterior of the building is finished, Sacks figures it will take another six months to finish the inside.

He said the company spent 15 years looking for a site with three requirements in mind: a deep harbour, a protected harbour and sparse housing for safety reasons.

Port Union has all three.

Sir William Ford Coaker, founder of the Fisherman's Protective Union (FPU) and trading company, commissioned the building between 1916 and 1918.

In 1945, it burnt down, and the FPU had it rebuilt a year later.

In 2008, the Iceberg Water Corp. donated $300,000 to the Sir William Coaker Heritage Foundation to aid in the building's restoration.

Bruce Sweetland, chairman of the Coaker Foundation, said the building will be returned to its original appearance.

The building's interior will be a blank canvas for the new tenant, Sweetland said.

"Whoever moves into the building has to construct the interior to suit their needs," he explained.

Sacks said the number of jobs created will depend on sales, but Sweetland anticipates the bottling facility will employ 50 people in its first year and possibly 150 people in its fifth year.

"This is our phoenix out of the ashes," said Sweetland.

"This could increase trade and tourism in the area and would be marketed all over the world."

Organizations: Iceberg Water, FPU, Protective Union Sir William Coaker Heritage Foundation Coaker Foundation

Geographic location: Port Union, Toronto, St. John's

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Recent comments

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Someone needs to layout the facts of the bottled water business - everything from location, business plan, gov't funding, to HACCP based and technical issues.

    PLEASE DO NOT FUND THIS VENTURE WITH GOVT. HAND OUTS.

  • Keith
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    It's cruel - just CRUEL! - what they're planning to do to these glacier calves! Why, they're just BABIES!!!

    LOL!!!

    I wish you great success with this venture! Good to see jobs going to the smaller communities, for once.

  • timmay
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Just so you know iceberg water is already being produced here in NL. It's called north of 80 produced and bottled at the plant in St. Anthony.

  • RB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I think it's a spectacular idea. I'm a preservationist and I love the idea of saving Port Union's historical look and creating jobs, jobs, jobs.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Someone needs to layout the facts of the bottled water business - everything from location, business plan, gov't funding, to HACCP based and technical issues.

    PLEASE DO NOT FUND THIS VENTURE WITH GOVT. HAND OUTS.

  • Keith
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    It's cruel - just CRUEL! - what they're planning to do to these glacier calves! Why, they're just BABIES!!!

    LOL!!!

    I wish you great success with this venture! Good to see jobs going to the smaller communities, for once.

  • timmay
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Just so you know iceberg water is already being produced here in NL. It's called north of 80 produced and bottled at the plant in St. Anthony.

  • RB
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    I think it's a spectacular idea. I'm a preservationist and I love the idea of saving Port Union's historical look and creating jobs, jobs, jobs.