What led to the creation of the company?
CHEREM MAIR The company that owns Panama Blue is called Panama Springs and was established by Jaime Ortiz in 2005. It produces clear water, with a unique flavor and neutral pH levels. On top of that, the water has one of the lowest dissolved minerals in the world. We have a lab to constantly monitor water quality. There, we have three wells, and we only extract the water from one of them, because that one in particular is the best, and our priority is quality. That is why we have ISO: 9001 and ISO: 14001, which certifies that all our processes are based on manuals to preserve the quality of the product. It is not easy to maintain these levels because we are located in a mountainous area, and we are careful to protect the environment. Notably, the design of the bottle won a design contest, “Water Innovation Award," in Germany in 2008. Everything related to the product is premium.
KENNETH KAM We have always ventured into cutting-edge projects related to society and the environment. Bambito was born after we found this unique and natural source of spring water. It comes directly from the skirts of Barú Volcan directly to the plant and is bottled at origin. Bambito Spring Water has the vision of offering consumers the best water in the world. Before Bambito, Panama didn't have locally produced spring water and health conscious Panamanians had to buy imported bottled waters at import prices. Now, locals can enjoy all the benefits of a premium natural water with Bambito Spring Water. Bambito offers a unique natural water, pH perfect, provided with its own natural elements to add nothing but positive connotations to our body's health. A natural sourced water like Bambito offers the excellent properties that other waters cannot.
What do your certifications represent?
CM All the companies that have these certificates have to bear an important cost, because they are expensive. However, we prefer to be audited and assessed, because the product is the most important thing for us. Our commitment to nature, the product, and our processes is extremely strong. Hence, we are extremely proud, and as such, we acquired the company because we saw it has great potential. As for the kosher certificate, many companies acquire it because it demonstrates that the product is clean and has better processes, and it is important to have the certificate, though not just for religious purposes.
KK We have the ISO 9001 certification because our objective is to offer spring water of the highest quality. This means we are demanding in terms of complying with our processes. We guarantee confidence in the product while maintaining quality and seeking continuous improvement in our service processes. Furthermore, we convey the benefits of spring water through social networks, modern means of communication, and the experience of our customers through the word of mouth. Thus, we train our team and our consumers to create brand awareness. On a commercial level, we are focusing on the best hotels and restaurants in the country as well as educational establishments. The mission is to spread the issue of health and concern for the environment.
What are your growth plans?
CM We started to export to Mexico in May. When we acquired the company, we realized it was the perfect product to export, and we started down that path of bringing the name of Panama abroad. We are a proud Panamanian company. Also, we plan to export to two other markets, although it is a slow process. This is an artisanal product, so we cannot sell at massive levels.
KK We acquired the volcano spring in 2012 and started the construction of a new packing plant. Our operation grew as we gained more market share. Today, we are leaders in the distribution of spring water nationwide. We plan on growing as market demand grows for our product. This demand can either be local or international. Our growth potential is enormous.