A jazz band, a suburban garage, and 'healing water' all figure into the fascinating story of radius99, the natural mineral water sourced near Germany's Taunus mountain nature park. We spoke with the brand's charming business partners Nicola Piesch and Dieter Wierz to learn more.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO BOTTLE WATER?
A couple of years ago when performing with our jazz band, we [Dieter and Nicola] happened to start talking about the existence of the largely forgotten Haderheck-Quelle ("Haderheck Spring") in Königstein. Well aware of the highly regarded quality and purity of this still water and being very enthusiastic about it, Nicola suggested spontaneously that we analyze the possibilities to restart the bottling activities. Nicola's guiding principle was that such an excellent water must be made available to the people once again.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR SOURCE. HOW WAS IT FIRST DISCOVERED, AND HOW DID YOU RESUME PRODUCTION?
Originally, Haderheck Spring was discovered serendipitously during a residential housing excavation in the 1960s. Buried beneath a business magnate’s garage was a true artisan well, ultimately certified as a legitimate source of heilwasser (“healing water”) and bottled by the owner, Dr. Pohlmann, for regional consumption at local health food and drug stores, pharmacies, and clinics. After the founder’s death over 20 years ago, however, the company was put on hold due to a lack of successors. We decided to secure the ownership of the source, and applied to launch a limited-time filling operation to test whether the market would be ready to accept the reborn product. In cooperation with a small group of freelancers, the new product was designed, and at the end of 2019 radius99 was introduced to and well received by the public.
TELL US ABOUT RADIUS99'S ENVIRONMENTAL EFFORTS.
We make every effort to operate radius99 on as small of a footprint as possible, as a carbon-neutral business. While we are thrilled to be able to bottle water for our community, we are incredibly thoughtful about the environmental implications of tapping into a naturally occurring spring for our own consumption.
In Germany, we sell radius99 predominantly in the geographical region of only 99 kilometers away from the source, to support climate protection and sustainability. Abroad, the water is only available to an exclusive group of consumers via Soho Waterworks, which echoes our emphasis on sustainability.
In addition to our environmental efforts, we are proud of our partnership with an institution that educates young disabled people, who under the strict control and professional training conditions are involved in labeling and packing radius99.
WHAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE THING ABOUT YOUR WATER?
It's completely natural. The water is bottled gently and free of any pressure directly into new bottles from a recycled glass factory. Unlike systems that re-use the same glass bottles for future filling, our one-way-system avoids the need to involve hard chemistry and use big quantities of water to clean the bottles. As a result, radius99 retains its natural and pure quality and taste for our customers. The filled bottles are packed in environmentally friendly cardboard boxes that protect the water from daylight. Thereby, the high degree of bioavailability is secured, and the product — with its low and well balanced mineralization and an optimal ph value — shows the same high level of quality and freshness straight from the bottle as it does in its natural "healing water" state.