Sky Blue Water Inc.
Meet George Groumoutis, the CEO of Sky Blue Water. He has been part of the company since 2006 when there was a change of ownership into Sky Blue Water’s name. As the CEO, George is responsible for advancing and growing the company and performing risk assessment and management. The business originated in 1994 because of the tremendous Middlebro water supply. At this time, the business was small but successful. Once Sky Blue Water bought out the Middlebro facility and made new investments, business began to grow. Now it is sold to high-profile retailers across North America.
In 2018, an RM of Piney councillor mentioned the PRCC to George. As a company that sources its product from the community, George joined the membership to support the community. For many years before joining the PRCC, George was already looking for ways to support the RM of Piney. As a result, Sky Blue Water “financially contributes to the PRCC, East Borderland Community Housing and other charities to improve the quality of life in the area.”
George has grown impressively in his career over the past few decades, and he attributes his success to one simple piece of advice. “Spend more time listening and less time talking. If you listen, you’ll learn about what’s around you and what others' needs are, which will help you to make better decisions.”
Sky Blue Water
Sky Blue Water is a wholesale bottled water company at face value; however, George describes the company as much more than just that. “We are a solutions business. Our goal is to provide diverse and innovative packaging, inventory management and logistics solutions for our customers. We have flexible packaging options for labelling, bottle size and caps. Sky Blue is committed to being a good steward of the environment. For over 10 years we have been producing bottles made from 100% recycled plastic. In other words, a bottle that is made from a previous bottle.”
Many residents in the RM of Piney remember the old water plant in Middlebro. Back in 2013, there was an unfortunate electrical fire that shut down the facility. Sky Blue Water rebuilt their facility in a different location; however, they still retrieve their water from Middlebro. Sky Blue Water attests to the superior quality of Middlebro’s natural spring water which is why it has been awarded the label of “best-tasting bottled water in the world.”
Against common belief that plastic water bottles are a major attributable factor of climate change, “79% of plastic beverage containers sold in Manitoba in 2020 were recycled and avoided landfill sites. We are striving to increase recycling rates across the province through our membership in Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA).” Sky Blue Water is committed to continuing to reduce its carbon footprint.
George is proud of the company and all that it stands for because he knows the truth about the industry. “It’s easy to blame the plastic producers for the rise in the plastic litter, but I know that as an industry, we encourage recycling because we understand what is happening to the Earth. That is why we are working toward a zero-waste facility.”
The final focus of Sky Blue Water’s process is ensuring the quality of the water. The bottom line is that the water needs to be potable, meaning safe for consumption. All-natural spring water must be up to federal standards to be sold on the market. So, it must be treated for microorganisms, bacteria, chemicals, viruses and other harmful substances. “Sky Blue Water has a quality assurance team to ensure 100% of our water is potable.” Since all marketable bottled water is held to the same standards, Sky Blue Water considered the other components of their commodity that could be optimized. “We can say that it is premium water, but the customers will ask ‘what is your price?’ and follow up with “why is it worth that number?’ The convenience of the packaging and the cost of production is where the competition lays, so we made our prices the highest value-to-cost ratio."