Two District residents are making a name for their business as well as money by offering the one substance that is vital to the survival of human beings: water.
“My partner and I found out that good, bottled water was not available in neighborhoods east of the [Anacostia] River as opposed to other areas of D.C.,” said Ronnie Webb, co-founder and co-owner of Corner Water, a Black-owned business that specializes in selling its own brand of bottled water in the District.
“We found this out while working with children at Stanton Elementary School teaching about food systems and urban gardening,” Webb continued. “We asked the children to go into their neighborhood to get a sense of what healthy food options were like. The children told us that there was a lack of good options on bottled water, and we decided to do something about it.”
With Corner Water — founded in 2021 — Webb, 37, and his partner Jerome Nesbitt said they offer customers a product of 100% natural premium Artesian water that flows from local natural springs that doesn’t require and contain chemicals and purifying agents found in other bottled water brands. Corner Water bills itself as the District’s official bottled water. Among the establishments selling the product are Metrobar DC and Rhode Island Liquors in Northeast; eateries such as FishScale DC and DC Sweet Potato Bakery Cake in Northwest; and all Shop Made in DC locations through the Washington metropolitan area.
The product is sold at District farmer’s markets. Delivery is available to customers but only in the city.
Corner Water’s Purpose
Webb said Corner Water has multiple purposes.
“We did this to make money,” he said. “We also want to show young people that you can make money honestly and earn a good living off of your work. Many of our distributors are youth and we are teaching them valuable business and life skills.”
Webb and Nesbitt recently completed the By Our Hands Cohort, a project of the Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL) for Black-owned food establishments. The pair received a $10,000 grant from the Urban League and sponsors.
Nesbitt said the program offered programs in business counseling, networking and how to succeed in the food industry.
“The program was very beneficial,” Nesbitt, 36, said. “Our facilitator Furard Tate brought us information that is hard to get sometimes. We liked to engage with him and admired his commitment. Networking with our classmates was important, too.”
Corner Water will hold an event with the Black Alley Band on Sept. 15 for the “Water is Culture Campaign.” The campaign promotes the brand and the healthy benefits of drinking water.
Source: Washington Informer