¡CACTUS! Organic Cactus Water is a labor of love. It has to be. After spending time in the beverage industry and seeing its challenges up close, I always said anyone who wanted to start a beverage company would have to be kind of crazy. That was before I was introduced to “Nopalitos,” made from the edible paddles of the Nopal “prickly pear” cactus, that are packed with all kinds of goodness. So, crazy or not, I decided to create my kind of beverage company – one that is fun and can potentially provide some helpful benefits.
It all started when my mom asked me to come back home to Napa Valley, California, to start an organic family farm. A worker suggested we harvest the paddles growing wild on our farm because of their popularity with the Hispanic market. I started eating a paddle a day and the severe eczema that plagued me my whole life started to clear up! After that I spent hours researching this nutritional marvel and was moved by the many studies about its benefits.
I also spent hours skinning the cactus paddles – with the scars to prove it – and started selling them at local farmers markets. People went bonkers for them and I heard story after story about how eating the paddles helped them. Many of my customers were juicing them and the idea of starting a beverage company started to blossom.
In late 2017 I launched “Green-Go” organic cactus water, an unsweetened water powered by juice from the Nopal cactus paddle. Green-Go generated nice press and distribution, but (always learning) by the beginning of 2019 I felt that the upside would be greater with a reformulation and a rebrand.
I started with the product. After much research and taste testing, I moved from one unsweetened, zero-calorie cactus water in aseptic cardboard to three popular organic flavors, each lightly sweetened with organic agave (5g sugar, 30 calories) and packaged in 12-ounce recyclable sleek cans. And I changed the brand name to ¡CACTUS! to more directly convey that our product is cactus water – important given the multitude of beverage products on store shelves.
We entered 2020 with a new formulation, better taste, three flavor choices and a more direct brand name – all while maintaining the goodness of organic cactus water. While there are many plant-based hydration beverages to choose from I sure hope you’ll give ¡CACTUS! a try!
The very best of health to you!
Owner, Founder, Farmer
PS: I usually don’t look as glamorous as this “pageant” photo of me! Most of the time you’ll find me in overalls and a trucker’s hat. We still farm, although these days we sow lavender to keep the honeybees happy and milkweed, which endangered Monarch butterflies love.