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BizHawk: Sparkling New Zealand Water Company Launches in Santa Barbara

Bennett's Education Materials lives on with new owner and Impact Hub is recognized for its environmentally-friendly practices

Justin and Mindy Mahy started KOPU, a New Zealand-sourced sparkling water company, in August. The bottles are for sale at high-end markets throughout the Santa Barbara area. Click to view larger
Justin and Mindy Mahy started KOPU, a New Zealand-sourced sparkling water company, in August. The bottles are for sale at high-end markets throughout the Santa Barbara area.  (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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If you enjoy water that tastes like champagne, then Justin and Mindy Mahy think they have the perfect product for you.

Looking to capitalize on the popular sparkling water trend, the married couple launched KOPU water in the Santa Barbara area in August.

They say the water comes from New Zealand aquifers thousands of feet below dormant volcanoes in the Bay of Plenty.

“When you drink it, it has champagne-like tiny bubbles,” said Justin Mahy, who uses proprietary technology to get the bubbles “just right.”

Mahy sold his software company Dialed In and decided to launch the product with his wife, whom he married at the Bacara Resort & Spa in 2015.

The New Zealand-native met Mindy, originally from Missouri, in New York. The two decided to settle down in Montecito, where they could raise a family and be close to Los Angeles.

They have a 17-month-old child and another one on the way.

“Our life is babies and bottles,” Justin Mahy said.

The sparkling water comes in an aluminum bottle, with a 38 millimeter mouth, instead of the standard 28 millimeter mouth.

“It’s a large mouth that really allows you to experience water in a different way,” Mindy Mahy said.

The aluminum bottles are decorated with an image of the Bay of Plenty and the rising Morning Star, to represent sustainability, the Mahys say.

A 12-ounce bottle sells for $2.79 and is available at stores in the Santa Barbara area including Montecito Village Grocery, Pierre LaFond, Jeannine’s Bakery, Lucky Penny, Metropolis, Santa Barbara Public Market and other high-end stores. The product is also available in Malibu and the Los Angeles area.

Mindy Mahy is a self-professed connoisseur of sparkling water and said it took two years of research and development to get the product right.

“It’s effervescent,” Justin Mahy said. “It feels like a treat but at the end of the day you are getting your water.”

He said that the water is good for the refrigerator, a hike, or outdoor adventure.

“We wanted to create a luxurious experience for the customer,” said Mindy Mahy.

Bennett’s lives on with new owner

Bennett's Educational Materials has been purchased by a Santa Barbara resident and will live on.

A rise in rent, couple with the competition from Amazon, pushed Bennett’s to the brink of closure, but previous owner Vernon Moore found a buyer for the business. 

Bennett’s will stay inside the Magnolia Shopping Center, but open at 5148 Hollister Ave.

The new store will open during the second week of October and the current location at 5130 Hollister Ave. will remain open until Sept. 30.

Impact Hub goes green

The Impact Hub has become Green Business Certified and to receive the recognition, a business must show that steps have been taken to save resources and cut back on waste in its facility and operation.

“We strive to provide our members an affordable, clean, collaborative, fun place to work,” Santa Barbara Hub Co-Founder Dan Ferrick said in a statement.

Impact Hub uses biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products, and purchases supplies that are compostable or contain recycled content.

The Impact Hub also buys in bulk to reduce packaging, and coworkers are invited to monthly workshops on composting and recycling hosted by the city.

“We’re working to start a larger conversation around sustainability and the role we play in protecting the environment,” Impact Hub Environmental Lead Kylie Wagner said in a statement. 

“And the certification does just that.”

Impact Hub is located at 10 E. Yanonali St.and 1117 State St.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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