Aquaovo's water filters are Montreal's answer to the ubiquitous spring water bottle.
The gleaming white porcelain eggs (“aqua ovo” means water egg in Latin) look more sculptural than practical, balancing on their translucent acrylic stands. Noémi Desrochers founded Aquaovo in June, 2007, with her brother Manuel, who had been working on his plans for an egg-shaped water filter for three years.
The concept was inspired by the notion that when liquid is stored in an egg-like vessel, it encourages the water molecules to move. When water moves, says Desrochers, it tastes different. “We call it living water.”
To build a porcelain version of the design, the pair went to China to tap into the country's expertise in ceramics, with the added bonus of lower production costs. You can now find Aquaovo in health food stores and high-end design and kitchen outlets in Canada, the United States and across Europe – the company is also expanding into Asia.
The timing was right: Aquaovo hit the market just as bottled water became an environmental bogeyman, precipitating sales of roughly 3,000 units.
While other manufacturers play upon consumer fears of tainted water, Desrochers actually praises what comes out of our faucets. “In order for [tap water]to be great, it needs a final touch,” she adds.
That's where she believes Aquaovo's four layers of water filtration come into play. The filters, made of such substances as carbon, quartz crystal and ceramic pellets, are good for four months.
Says Desrochers: “We want good water and we don't want the planet to pay for it.”
This story originally appeared in the Your Business supplement of the April issue of Report on Business Magazine.