Saturday afternoon, I just finished designing the Kfar Edumim Synthetic Drinks Factory. The entrepreneur is a very knowledgeable Kurdish Jew from Jerusalem, a real expert in liquid drinks management, having worked for Coca Cola and Tempo beer companies. Some "heavyweight" is backing him in the startup, and he was pressing me for the drawings to submit them to the bank to start receiving financing.
He rents a big hangar in the Kfar Edumim industrial area. Kfar Edumim is a "settlement" on a very high hill a few kilometers east of Maale Adumim. The industrial area is empty and abandoned, except for a lonely garage. When visiting the place, I got interested by the neighbouring hangar that has a fully equipped floor drainage system, a hazardous materials storage area and an abandoned industrial wastewater treatment plant. It appears that not long ago it was a fruit jam and olive oil factory, that had moved out. The whole area is in deep disrepair and the Judean desert is reconquering it. It is like an abandoned phantom mining town in Arizona.
Kfar Edumim has good dry climate and nice solid-looking houses on the top of the hill. There is a mini-air force base near the village, which was supposed to be "my" base in case of real war - my antiair 22 mm cannon battery was supposed to shoot downward from the top of the hill to the 1000 m deep East West wadi, to kill any enemy helicopter trying to infiltrate undetected from Jordan. They took us only once to see the place, since in my times no one tried to attack Israel from the East.
The Kurdish expert intends to produce chemical, synthetic extract-flavored beer to export to American forces in Iraq. And bottled water for the whole Middle East. A natural herb energy drink. He says he is the first one who introduced blue colored beverages, and has many ideas.
He is worried by the quality of the water - most of all, by sudden changes in composition. He has made extensive enquiries about the source of Kfar Edumim water supply, and it seems that sometimes it comes from the National Carrier and others from Rosh Ha Ayin sources. I complicated the picture telling him about the coming water quality management plan, with desalinated seawater and other non-conventional waters mixing into a cocktail to be supplied to customers. I presume the Judean desert water sources are quite limited and low quality. He will need serious water treatment facilities, in fact, that may be the main part of the factory. And the wastewater disposal. Coca Cola and the Beer companies have their own water sources, but that solution is far from satisfactory.
My solution is based on Reverse Osmosis and Ultraviolet Irradiation, but at this stage we are just trying to receive Ministry of Health permit and not actually producing a product. Nothing is easy... people thinks that selling bottled water is the easiest way of making money, but it is a hard competitive industry. Local consumers are more Europeans than American in their food preferences, they love health, organic, natural, biologically labeled foods and they reject synthetic drinks, but he thinks there is a big market for them in the New Middle East. It must be so, because the man certainly knows the beverage business. He thinks to sell the product to retailers and food chains, that may use their own labels. On Tuesday we have the first meeting with the health functionaries.
He was supposed to give a retainer, but I accepted his word. When, when shall I start earning money?