BY MICHAEL WINTERMUTE
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Owner of Endless Mountains Water Co LTD, Bill Longstreet, confirmed the sale of his company to Fox Ledge Spring Water out of Honesdale earlier this year.
Many locals recognize Endless Mountains Water, whose warehouse was located on Tioga Street across from McDonald’s in Tunkhannock, by the five-gallon water coolers they distributed all over the county.
Longstreet said the sale was a matter of timing and personal interests.
“I started a coffee business, Endless Coffee Service, about four years ago and after 30 years with Endless Mountains Water, I decided I wanted to focus more on coffee,” Longstreet said.
On top of that, Longstreet had been approached by more than a handful of business entities looking to buy his property and wanted to sell when the time was right.
“I had options, but I went with Fox Ledge because I thought they were the best fit for Tunkhannock, that they would retain the employees I had and that they would hire locally,” Longstreet said.
With increasing gas activity in the area, property values have been going up and up, particularly for local businesses, and Longstreet wanted to sell the company while he still had control over it.
“I didn’t want to sell my company if it meant my employees were going to lose their jobs, and Fox Ledge was very mindful of that,” Longstreet said.
Vice president of Fox Ledge Jessica Manzo said the company is a perfect fit for Tunkhannock.
“It’s great because we’ve always been family owned – since we started the company in 1994 on family property,” Manzo said. “We feel that business model fits well for this area.”
So when the two companies decided to work together through the acquisition process, Longstreet made it known he would not agree to a deal that didn’t include his current employees.
“All of my employees were offered positions by Fox Ledge, and we really worked together to make sure it was as seamless of a transition as possible,” Longstreet said.
Fox Ledge essentially purchased the customer base from Endless Mountains Water, meaning deliveries would continue as usual apart from a different logo on the truck.
Customers can still order their water the same way they always have, and the warehouse on Tioga Street is still the primary headquarters for delivery service in the area.
The biggest difference in the two companies is growing power.
Fox Ledge has a substantial customer base in parts of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and therefore possesses the resources necessary to grow in any market.
Fox Ledge was built from the ground up using the family spring, which is still used today, and the water undergoes extensive quality tests to ensure its purity.
Fox Ledge also uses specific machinery to be certain no water is being touched by human hands, and owns an in-house testing facility that tests the water multiple times a day.
“We would love to stay here and grow. Obviously that would mean hiring new employees – creating jobs for the area,” Manzo said. “Bill still plays an active role as an outside consultant for the company, and helps us understand marketing and selling water in this area.”
Longstreet values his relationship with Fox Ledge and feels it was the best option for the sale of Endless Mountains Water.
“I want to see them grow the way we grew and have the same relationship with the community as we had, and they want the same,” Longstreet said.