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Empire State Development announces collaboration between growing WNY business & 43North winner

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Mon, Mar 27th 2017 12:00 pm

Mayer Brothers bottles Asarasi's eco-friendly sparkling beverage 

Empire State Development on Monday announced the successful venture between two state-supported businesses. Mayer Brothers is the exclusive bottler of Asarasi Sparkling Tree Water. This collaborative effort has allowed the startup to produce a half-million bottles over the past year with distribution to more than 500 different restaurants and retailers in the northeastern U.S.

"The collaboration of Mayer Brothers and Asarasi is a great success story for Western New York," Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said. "Not only will it strengthen the local economy, but it will enable an innovative startup company to benefit from the expertise of a business that is well-known to the state and has been operating for over 50 years."

"43North is very pleased that Asarasi is bottling their tree water with Mayer Brothers," 43North Executive Director John Gavigan said. "This business relationship is further evidence of the fact that, when a company becomes a winner of 43North, the Western New York business community embraces them fully."

Mayer Brothers, which has been opened since 1852 and is currently one of the largest family-owned beverage bottling companies in the Northeast, recently received a $500,000 Excelsior Jobs Program tax credit from Empire State Development, which is contingent on the company meeting its employment goals. The tax credit will go toward Mayer Brothers' $3.2-million project to build a 40,000-square-foot building with a second bottling line right next to its current Barker facility. The new building is expected to be operating by the end of this summer.

Asarasi Sparkling Tree Water is the product of 2016 43North competition third-place winner Asarasi. It is a sustainable and renewable form of sparkling water that is harvested from trees and does not affect ground water resources. Only 3 percent of the sap collected from trees is used for actual maple syrup production. The remaining 97 percent left over during this process is pure, organic tree water that is typically discarded. Asarasi collects the water from local maple syrup producers, which is then taken to Mayer Brothers to be carbonated and bottled.

Asarasi said it appreciates the opportunity to work with Mayer Brothers, one of the most experienced bottlers in New York.

"The 43North competition allowed us to take advantage of opportunities we would never have received otherwise, giving us credibility and resources to turn this vision into reality," said Adam Lazar, founder of Asarasi. "On top of this, we are grateful to be able to work with and learn from Mayer Brothers. They are an essential partner in our growth."

"Mayer Brothers is proud to provide bottling to a 43North winner that is adding a unique and ecofriendly product to the beverage market, "said Garrett Mayer, Mayer Brothers president. "The process of bringing a new product to market is a challenge. We are happy to offer our expertise in the industry as they work to grow their startup."

Asarasi was selected one of the 43North competition winners in 2016. As a result, Asarasi received $500,000, incubator space, mentorship and does not have to pay state taxes for 10 years. It also has access to resources and infrastructure in the Buffalo area.

Asarasi, which is already available at retailers across the state and Northeast, will now be available at local grocery stores, restaurants and other retailers through its partnership with Try-It Distributing. For more information on where to find Asarasi Sparkling Tree Water, visit http://asarasi.com.

For more information on 43North, visit http://www.43north.org.

About Mayer Brothers

Mayer Brothers is a family-owned business, founded in 1852 in West Seneca. It offers brand-name and private-label beverage products, as well as co-packing/contract manufacturing, to its nationwide clients. Its beverage products include apple cider, bottled water, tea, lemonade, juice and certified organic and kosher products. It also manufactures and offers a variety of fruit fiber powder products.

Mayer Brothers is the largest processor of apple cider in North America and is one of the oldest family-owned businesses in New York.

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