I hadn’t seen my childhood friend Brian Allen in a long time until he showed up at the Music is Art Festival a couple of years ago. Brian is a former Buffalonian who, along with his wife, established an all-natural vitamin water geared towards kids called ‘bot’. At the time, Brian was looking to dole out samples at the festival so that kids and their families could taste test the product. Fast forward a couple of years and Brian is now branching out into The Lexington Co-op and Wegmans as well as numerous smaller outlets.
Developing a vitamin water that appeals to kids was an awesome idea. I’m happy to see that Buffalo families will be able to bring home something that is healthy and also tastes good… and although ‘bot’ is not a Buffalo company (it’s in Princeton, NJ), Brian still has family here and visits as often as he can. He’s excited about the warm reception that he’s received from a couple of heavy hitting businesses. “Wegmans has gotten behind a smaller brand,” Brian told me. “I plan on watering a lot of routes in the Buffalo area – my dad has even done some store checks at Wegmans and he’s not even on the payroll. Elmwood Taco and Sub and/or Jim’s SteakOut would be my Holy Grails… I want to hear from my friends that they saw ‘bot’ at their favorite locations. Beyond that, we’re concentrating on the northeast. We do really well in alternative places – when we set up at the Music is Art festival, that’s when we realized that the brand went well beyond the kids. That led to us putting the water into a bigger bottle and adding electrolytes and the antioxidants. So a Buffalo music festival had a big influence on the product – Robby Takac loved the product and that set us in a new direction.”
If you see the ‘bot’-Mobile driving around the city, then you know that there is an expat (and big Buffalo fan) behind the wheel… give him a honk and he’ll give you a cold sample of the drink.