An Elkhart bottled water company splashed into gift bags at the Acadamy Awards this weekend, then was honored with an award of its own during the same weekend.
IndigoH2O placed first in the Best Purified Drinking Water category at the 25th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting last weekend in West Virginia, during which more than 100 drinking waters are judged by a panel and ranked in a handful of categories, according to the competition’s website.
Ten judges sipped hundreds of waters from 19 states, six Canadian provinces and six countries, including Greece, Bosnia and New Zealand, according to a news release from Berkeley Springs.
Judges tasted the waters in flights of four and rated the sips for certain characteristics: appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel and aftertaste, according to the website.
They ranked the top five waters in five categories: best municipal water, best bottled water, best sparkling, best purified drinking water and best packaging.
Though this is the first time IndigoH2O founder Yuri Cataldo took home the gold, it’s not his first time at the competition. His business officially started in 2012 and distinctions shortly followed. In 2013, he took home a bronze and last year, a silver.
“I was actually at a conference Saturday night speaking to artists about how they can create a successful business and do what I did,” Cataldo said. “On my way back, I got the phone call saying I had won the gold.”
“It’s a testament that it doesn’t matter where you are — if you have a good product, people will find it … “
The Berkeley competition isn’t the only competition of its kind in the world, though it is the largest — and competition is getting larger and more fierce each year, Cataldo said.
With the gold distinction, Cataldo said he can put the label on his bottle as an honor that it is the best in the world in its category.
The company sources its water from an artesian well in a rural area of northern Indiana. Cataldo said this distinction proves that it doesn’t matter where you are — it matters what you do and how well you do it.
“I am deeply honored and humbled at the success that my company is starting to take off,” he said. “It’s a testament that it doesn’t matter where you are — if you have a good product, people will find it as long as you make it possible for them to find it. Yes, I am in northern Indiana, but I can showcase it around the world.”
Another Indiana water took home a distinction at the competition — Whispering Springs in Pierceton took bronze in the same category.