After two years of hard work, millions of dollars of investment, and tons of safety and regulatory hurdles, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to open the first bottled water company in Ouachita Parish, King Springs (www.kingspringsla.com).
The University of Louisiana Monroe played a significant role in the development and completion of this project.
On Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, the King Springs Purified Louisiana Spring Water facility was toured by U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, representatives from Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser's office, all elected officials in Northeast Louisiana, and representatives from the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce and regional banks.
Dr. Terry King, the originator of the project, thanked ULM, his family, and distributor Marsala Beverage for their efforts in helping him fulfill a dream to bottle his pure spring water and start a new business. King Springs is located at Kingsland Ranch in West Monroe.
"This was a dream of mine, and ULM helped bring this dream to reality," said King.
ULM facilitated this project by developing the budget, conducting water testing, performing marketing analysis, assisting with contracts and regulations, and working alongside the King family through each project phase.
Former ULM student Jordan Van toured the facility and said, "I have heard about this for years, but seeing it was incredible. The place was spotless, high-tech, and the water tastes great. A wonderful day to be a Warhawk."
ULM President Ronald Berry, D.B.A., commented on the vital relationship between ULM and the business community.
"This effort included students, faculty, and staff across many departments, colleges, and majors.
My sincere thanks to Dr. John Sutherlin for his efforts in leading and coordinating ULM's participation in this impactful and innovative process," said Berry. "Fulfilling this dream and other dreams is ULM's mission."
According to King, the products will be in stores in mid-November. Office and home delivery will also be available.
For more information about this venture, see King Springs Facebook at www.facebook.com/KingSpringsLA/.