- Tell us a little bit about your background! How did you come to create A88?
I’m a serial entrepreneur with over 43 years of business experience. I spent the early part of my career at one of the “Big Four” accounting firms where I was a Regional Director of Tax and Financial Planning. My business model is simple – experienced people, low capital, annuity, cash-flow, margins, and most importantly, nothing happens without a sale!
I co-founded The Alkaline Water Company Inc. in 2012 as a premium water brand when the word “alkaline” was associated with the Energizer bunny. Since then, A88 Lifestyle brands, which include A88CBD™, A88 Flavored Infused, and Alkaline88® has evolved over the past 6 years.
When we created our first product Alkaline88®, it was apparent that trustworthiness and simplicity are luxuries in most people’s frantic daily lives. A88 lifestyle brands set out to create a trusted brand that just makes you happy you bought it. We sold our first $200 million dollars of Alkalin88® water to consumers on word of mouth advertising. No fancy ad programs, no brand ambassadors or influencers, just one friend or family member telling someone “you’ve got to try Alkaline88 water, it is great”. We took that concept and created our lifestyle brand A88. Our suite of products are all, pure, simple, and trustworthy.
We are a Clean Beverage® Company. We are the all-natural ingredient beverage company. We are the sustainability and exceptional ingredients Company. We don’t take short cuts. If it’s not in the marketplace, we take the time to develop a superior product while offering it at a fair price to the consumer. In summary, it’s about simplicity, trustworthiness, and enhancing your senses. Whether that be making your taste buds dance with our delicious flavored essence waters, Alkaline88®’s superior hydration that is clean and smooth with a soft feel in your mouth that is distinct from other brands. Or simply taking a luxurious bath in our CBD bath bombs and salts, or soothing your lips and body with our all-natural topical CBD products. And of course, at night when the day is done, we help you further relax with our great tasting ingestibles and our fantastic CBD water.
- What do you hope that people who use A88 can experience?
What an exceptional product tastes like and/or feels like. We believe we have the best tasting products on the planet both in our waters and A88CBD. Our A88CBD™ topicals are all formulated with great base ingredients to be luxurious but also affordable.
- Why CBD?
Both my Chairman Aaron Keay and I had backgrounds in healthy Lifestyles and the cannabis space. While developing our products, we were introduced to and sought out top CBD providers, International Flavor Companies, and the best natural beauty products suppliers and manufacturers. We started this process six months before the 2018 Farm Bill was passed as we knew that based on the partners that we were developing our A88CBD™ products with, we would have some of the best products on the market. Superior taste and/or feel, greater bioavailability, and shorter onsets than almost any other CBD product on the planet. We also knew with a fragmented market and our access to over 70,000 retail locations, speed to market was not as important as high quality and value.
- What do you hope to see in the future of the CBD industry?
I would like to see the industry adopt standards that include required PK studies and other measurable matrixes so consumers can trust the products and their ingredients. I will let the FDA and others establish the criteria but by already working with top tier companies and on our own PK studies, A88CBD™ will be able to meet or exceed any product, production, and quality standards imposed.
- If you could have tea with one person alive or dead who would it be with and what kind of tea would you serve them?
That’s easy. My father and it would be no sugar and black ice tea.
- A favorite resource for learning more about CBD!
I am a former research expert so I like to go to original source documents, FDA reports, research studies, scientific journals, etc. Of course, my CBD supplier and his Ph.D.’s are also a compendium of knowledge for me and my team. I also subscribe to Marijuana Moment that tracks and provides great links to all things cannabis.