Food

At Joseph Leonard, Drinking Outside of the Box

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When Gabriel Stulman opens Joseph Leonard, his so-called “bar with serious food,” next week, he’ll be the first New York purveyor of Boxed Water Is Better.
As its name suggests, this is water with a purpose: according to its
website, it’s “part sustainable water company, part art project, part
philanthropic project, and completely curious.”

More simply put,
“it’s just carbon-filtered, purified municipal
water” from Minnesota, says Kevin Hockin, who, with Benjamin Gott,
co-founded the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company in April 2008. Their
water is packaged in paper containers made largely from sustainably
harvested trees; Hockin says that the containers can be shipped flat to
the company’s filler, reducing the number of trucks needed for transit.

The
deal with Joseph Leonard came about from Gott’s friendship with
Stulman, Hockin says, but the company is hoping to break into wider
East Coast distribution “by the end of the summer.” They’re also lining
up a filler on the East Coast to avoid exceeding a 200-mile travel
radius.

The
water is currently carried in 20 retail outlets
around Western Michigan, though yesterday the company signed a distribution deal for the entire state. Aside from making the water — which
retails for $1.50 to $1.75 — more accessible, it should help diminish
Hockin’s own carbon footprint:  “Right now,” he says, “I’m literally
distributing
[the water] out of my car.”

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