Made in Arkansas: Mountain Valley Spring Water meets Hollywood

    6:06 AM, Oct 30, 2012   |    comments
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    HOT SPRINGS, (KTHV) -- You may be surprised to learn just how many products are made in Arkansas. From exports of food, wine, boats and speakers, there are dozens. All this month, Today's THV will highlight some of those products and share how they're making a difference not just in the Natural State but across the country.

    It's a 2,000 acre lot in Garland County with a serene landscape. But nestled behind all the trees, CEO Breck Speed is operating a very busy manufacturing plant.

    He explains, "It is the oldest continuously operated bottle water company in the United States."

    Mountain Valley Spring Water has been in business in Arkansas for 141 years. It's distributed to every state and several countries. 

    "It is nothing but natural spring water that comes out of the ground here. In the plastic bottles alone that we make internally, we'll make about 250 million," says Speed.

    And daily, there's hundreds of pallets and 30 truck loads heading out the door.

    "We are not just a bottled water company but we are a fully integrated company that makes a variety of premium upscale beverages and products."

    Like Sparking Ice. It's zero calories and is made in four different flavors. They'll produce 600,000 cases just this month. 

    Speed adds, "If you drink lots of water, you feel better."

    Mountain Valley Spring Water employs 120 people. They operate six days a week and 20 hours a day.

    "We test all of our water as its being processed every 10 seconds for a variety of perimeters.

    And don't be surprised to see Mountain Valley rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars. It shares the big screen with Tom Cruise in 'War of the Worlds,' Demi Moore in a 'Few Good Men,' and the TV drama Grey's Anatomy.

    It's also been a White House staple and adored by 19 U.S. presidents. 

    Speed explains, "Mountain Valley was served in the White House from the presidency of Grover Cleveland all the way through George Bush, because he thought it was Bill Clinton's water."

    That piece of history and many others are seen every year by hundreds of people from all over the country at the Mountain Valley Water Museum in downtown Hot Springs. 

    "He likes to drink out of the glass, explains Museum Director Bob Ridley. Ridley is talking about comedian Bill Cosby. Ridley has personally packaged Cosby's water.

    He adds, "Whenever he is doing his speeches, if they don't have it in the area, they'll call us and we will send it out to him."

    Dillards, the New Orleans Saints, and the Peabody Hotel also love it. They order the water with personalized labels. 

    Speed says, "It really follows a trend of consumers over all of looking for good, healthy, drinks. And what can be more healthy than good, clean water?"

    It's a staple in the Spa City and an Amiercan tradition that hydrates the country one bottle at a time.

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