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Great Lakes Article:

Water bottler to open Milwaukee plant
Small Business Times
Published May 8, 2007

Cascade Springs LLC, a bottled water producer with Milwaukee headquarters and a production facility in Arizona, plans to open a new bottling facility in Milwaukee this summer.

City officials are helping the company find a central city location to remodel and install its machinery, said Leni Siker, president and owner of Cascade Springs. Machinery will be transferred from Arizona, she said.

"We hope to be up and running by July or August," Siker said. "Once we find a location, do some remodeling and schedule the delivery of the machinery, within two weeks we could be in business. We want to try to capture some of the summer water business."

The Arizona bottling facility has 11 employees, Siker said. The Milwaukee plant will employ about 14. Cascade Springs has four sales and administrative employees in Milwaukee now.

Siker started Cascade Springs in 2004. An avid water drinker, she saw an opportunity for a woman- and minority-owned bottling business to gain government contracts.

Cascade Springs' Arizona plant supplies bottled water to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and several other federal agencies, Siker said.

The Milwaukee facility will target the Great Lakes Naval Base in Lake County, Ill., Siker said. Cascade Springs is already doing business with several federal agencies in Wisconsin and Illinois, and the company also is talking to the state of Wisconsin, she said.

"Milwaukee municipal water is one of the best in the country," she said. "And I have a feeling that once we open our doors, we can sell a lot of water here and develop the Arizona market."

Cascade Springs was one of three winners of the 2007 Asian Business Leadership Award, sponsored by Wells Fargo and the U.S .Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce. Each winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and be honored at the USPAACC's annual conference in San Francisco on Friday. The awardees were selected from a national pool of applicants.

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