Select Walmart stores have something special gracing their shelves this summer. For the first time, a partially woman-owned and 100 percent Black-owned bottled water product is being sold in three of its locations.
According to Black Enterprise, Live Alkaline Water, the brainchild of Robert McCray and business partner Dr. Shayla Creer, can now be found in two Jacksonville, FL Walmarts and another in Fruit Cove.
Live Alkaline Water is sourced from a natural spring in North Carolina that has been in McCray's family for nearly 100 years. In an interview with First Coast News, he shares that it was his great aunt who gave him the initial push to make the business a reality.
"The blood of your ancestors is crying out for you," McCray recalls his aunt saying to him. "You're responsible for this."
Benefits of the drink, as cited on their e-commerce site, include detoxifying properties, electrolytes, antioxidants, minerals, and the ability to balance PH levels.
Dr. Creer confessed in the First Coast News interview that the journey to store shelves was no easy fete, but both agreed that the excitement after getting a “yes” was rewarding. ‘I called… many Walmarts, and finally we got a hold of one who allowed us to do a presentation,” Creer recalls.
The duo presented their business plan not knowing the regional manager would be there, and once the bottles hit store shelves, they sold out within the first month. Now people as far away as Africa are hoping to get their hands on the water.
McCray, expounding on the newly found business and its success says, "Healthy people make a healthy community. Eat right, drink right, and you begin to think right."