Water Treatment Supplier Cirqua Closes


World Tea News CirquaCirqua® Customized Water has closed its doors after 33 years and its former employees this week launched Global Customized Water to supply 30,000 former clients. 

Cirqua founder Dave Beeman said Tuesday that he negotiated a settlement with his bank and creditors, avoiding bankruptcy. 

The Camarillo, Calif.-based Global Customized Waters is headed by CEO Stacy Ingram and COO Veronica Marron, both former Cirqua staff. On the East Coast Skip Finley was hired to handle sales and marketing. Sales executive Tracy Parks will represent the company on the West Coast. 

Global will operate as a manufacturing and product support venture, says Beeman, who is advising the firm. “Service will be by independent service people at a lower cost to users,” he says. In many instances the equipment Global produces will be so simple owner-operators can do maintenance. 

Cirqua serviced everything it sold, says Beeman “but in these economic times that’s a business model that can’t work.” Global will train independent service people and owners, stock parts and support manuals. 

In February 2011 book sellers Borders Group, Inc. closed its 399 stores still owing $66,480 to Cirqua. In public filings Beeman wroteon Mar. 25 that Borders’ failure to pay put his own company at risk “by forcing it to pay out money for labor-related service performed but not currently collectable.” 

Cirqua earned $20 million a year installing filters and more sophisticated treatment equipment a Starbucks Coffee locations, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and many independently owned restaurants and coffee shops. Shops with water treatment generally order filter supplies every three to six months and small parts as needed. 

Water is the first variable that has to be controlled in brewing coffee.  Beeman recognized the importance of filtration that did more than control scale when he began Cirqua in March 1978. A good cup of coffee or tea requires various concentrations of minerals and his work with the Specialty Coffee Association of America led to close relations with roasters and cuppers. He designed a system that stripped everything from the incoming water and then added essential specific minerals at specific concentrations back into the water to enhance the coffee extraction process.  Systems sold for $1,700 to $3,800 and replacement filters at $3 to $10 dollars or about $200 per year.

Beeman said that Global’s prices are comparable and many parts are interchangeable. To learn more contact Stacy Ingram at singram@gcwater.com

Dan Bolton

About Dan Bolton

Dan Bolton edits STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International. He was formerly editor and publisher of World Tea News and former editor and publisher of Tea Magazine and former editor-in-chief of Specialty Coffee Retailer. He is a beverage retail consultant and frequent speaker at industry seminars and conferences. His work has appeared in many beverage publications. He was a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years prior to his career in magazines. Dan is the founding editor of Natural Food magazine and has led six publishing ventures since 1995. He lives in Winnipeg, Canada.