By Denise M. Roberts
Angelica Saldivar and Hugo Figueroa, owner/operators of Fresca Waterhouse, are grateful their neighbors have entrusted them with something as important as their clean water and health. Serving the greater Reno/Sparks, NV area, the company’s mission is to provide the community with the highest quality drinking water at the best value through self-serve water refill stations and vending machines. The husband and wife team enlist the aid of another family member during the summer months, but otherwise, handle all aspects of the business themselves.
“As a retail, self-serve establishment, our customers bring their empty reusable bottles and refill here, instead of having it home delivered or purchased already bottled at a grocery store. Our clientele is varied, from families to small businesses. But all are budget-conscious and would rather refill themselves. Northern Nevada has faced high unemployment rates and one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation, which has affected the type of customers I have seen come into our retail store. Many customers are in some sort of transitional housing, apartments or condos after losing their homes to foreclosure. Many used to have in-house systems, or used to pay for bottled water delivery, but now cannot afford it.
“Customers are constantly referring their friends and neighbors to us, because they trust that we deliver a quality product,” Saldivar noted. Recently, the company got a little more attention than expected, in the form of a rare encounter with a badger. According to wildlife officials, there are badgers in the mountain areas but they are not generally found in town. In August, one made its way into the store and stirred up more than a little excitement. Covered by KRNV-News4, the incident made an impression on the owners and the customers. “Although we don’t have a company mascot, our recent and unusual encounter with a badger gives our customers reason to believe that it should be the mascot!” said Saldivar. The full story can be viewed at www.mynews4.com/news/story/Badger-caught-at-Sparks-water-store/oo6S9xqWE0GNfPOTUH2DbA.cspx and is certainly an interesting tale.
While regulatory issues may make a water dealership more difficult to maintain, Saldivar notes that local water regulations are too lax. “When we have more stringent water purification regulations, it provides citizens with a better product and ultimately, better health. We hold ourselves to a much higher standard than what local authorities require. That is both good and bad. It’s great for our water store and our products, but frustrating because others aren’t providing the same quality product.” In spite of that, Saldivar has no reason to change the business practices. “Our future plans are to continue to provide our community with the best purified drinking water, to be the affordable solution to their drinking water needs. Our retail plans also include expanding into other neighborhoods and continuing with our community outreach programs.” As a result of their commitment to water quality and customer service, there is every reason to believe this company will have a very successful run for years to come.