Hot or cold: Mesa company serves up both with countertop drink dispenser - East Valley Tribune: Business

Hot or cold: Mesa company serves up both with countertop drink dispenser

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Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 8:14 am | Updated: 8:50 am, Fri Jun 1, 2012.

A Mesa business is brewing up something big. And if you want, you can serve it hot or cold.

Esio Beverage Company distributes and manufacturers the Esio Beverage System, which – right now – is a floor-standing device that delivers hot and cold drinks in the home or office.

In time for Christmas, Esio will start distributing a countertop model nationally through a just-announced agreement with Wal-Mart.

Frank M. Leonesio started Esio Beverage in 2005, after being approached about an investment opportunity. He was shown the technology for a single-serve coffee maker, but this device would serve hot and cold drinks.

“I was intrigued enough that I bought the technology,” he said.

Esio Beverage System was born.

Leonesio and his team took it a few extra steps, perfecting the strength dial on the device and creating multiuse flavoring packs. Other recent developments mean Kraft products, like Country Time Lemonade and Crystal Light, will be available for use with the Esio System.

Leonesio decided to make Mesa the company’s worldwide headquarters after the experience he had with his previous company, O Premium Waters that was also based in Mesa.

The city provided a good labor pool, government was good to work with, and the location allowed for good access to the freeway system, he said.

“We became a fan of Mesa through that experience,” he said.

Lyle Myers was brought on as the company president. Production on floor-standing models began in 2007, with the devices first sold to customers of O Premium Waters.

Now, there are 15,000 floor-standing units all over the country.

O Premium Waters was sold in 2009 and in 2010, Leonesio said, “We began in earnest to develop the countertop unit.”

“We continue to believe we’re going to be a high growth company. We’re going to be bringing on a lot of new folks,” he said.

Nationwide, the Esio Beverage System is distributed through franchise owners. There are currently 14 people employed at the Mesa headquarters, with some services outsourced across the United States and manufacturing overseas.

“Some functions may come in-house in the future,” Myers said.

“We’re a sales and marketing organization. We know partners in business that helps keep overhead low.”

The countertop system – great for moms, they point out, because she can make her cup of coffee hot or iced and then turn around and get the kids a drink without any taste issues – will come to market in 2,900 Wal-Marts this fall.

“By the end of 2013, we’ll be in 8,000 retail stores,” Leonesio said, adding that Esio is in talks with other retailers. “By the end of 2014, it’ll be in 15,000 stores.”

What’s on the horizon for Esio is anyone’s guess.

“Frank does a good job in allowing the entrepreneurial spirit out of everybody. I think all of us in someway or some fashion have that passion,” Myers said.

“Frank believes everybody can have a good idea.”

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