Rick Evangelista : Owner and Founder of Mount Desert Spring Water
I was born and raised in Wakefield, Massachusetts and graduated from high school in 1967. At that time, if you didn’t have a plan for your life, “Uncle Sam” did. After a three year stint in the army and one tour of duty in Viet Nam, I still didn’t have a plan and spent the next two years working for a local moving company and learning the skills of a heavy machinery rigger. I found work with a new company being formed to handle the warehousing and distribution of sensitive equipment for Xerox. As Xerox grew this company also experienced significant growth and I worked my way up from the warehouse to Vice President.
I fell in love with Maine after visiting friends on Mount Desert Island one summer. My wife and I sold our house, packed up the kids and the dog, and made the move to Mount Desert. There was only one problem… I couldn’t find a job. With money running low, I took the advice of a friend who suggested that I start a local moving company.
Looking for a site for the moving business, I found an old dairy building known locally as Clarks Southwest Dairy, for sale in Southwest Harbor. The property contained a small well house built over an icy cold bubbling spring. I was told that this water had been used by the old dairy in the processing and bottling of their milk products. I also found some old one gallon bottles labeled “Acadia Spring Water” scattered around the dairy.
Curious, I called the state of Maine and was put in touch with folks from the Department of Agriculture who at that time were responsible for monitoring and inspecting wells. The person I talked with knew the location and had personally inspected the water source for years. His first comment to me was, “You’ve got great water there”.
With his encouragement I began having dreams of developing the next great water company — but I had never done anything like this before. I was determined that if I was going to go ahead and develop a company to sell bottled water that it would be done right!
I spent a year researching the best practices in the industry and visiting companies throughout New England. I found that the International Bottled Water Association had the highest industry standards, meeting or exceeding most state or federal guidelines for water purity. The New England Bottled Water Association was another source of information and guidance. We also discussed our ideas with representatives from the Department of Maine State Drinking Water. After countless inspections and tests, I was convinced that the water from our source was of particularly high quality.
With these standards in mind, we put together a business plan and went to a local bank to obtain the financing necessary to purchase the finest processing and bottling equipment that could be found. In 1988, Mount Desert Spring Water started production.
We have learned a lot since we first started our business and strive to constantly improve our company. We monitor our water on a continuous basis to be sure that it continues to meet the highest standards. There are 26 registered bottlers in Maine, but we are the only company certified by the International Bottled Water Association. I am very proud of our water, our staff and the company we have developed.
Our water is, quite simply, the best you will ever drink.
In Loving Memory of the Late Connie Jones