A new drink has made a major splash in the beverage market, coming from an unlikely source. A cactus. This new brand called “Pricklee Cactus Water” was invented by five young friends; Sarwang, Jay, Mo, Aakash and Kun, who decided to trade in their white coats as pharmacists for the life of entrepreneurs, proving that it is never too early to start again.
The next time you find yourself roaming the streets of Boston or among the hustle and bustle of New York, keep your eyes peeled for this unlikely bunch as they promote their brand while fashioning green cactus costumes.
“We’re those people in the middle of Times Square, dancing around in suits and giving away cans of Pricklee out to everyone. It is ridiculously fun,” Sarwang laughed.
The idea for the drink was first introduced by Mo, who grew up in Lebanon enjoying a glass of his grandmother’s specialty that tasted like a combination of watermelon and bubble gum.
“Believe me when I tell you that every time she made it, me and my siblings would fight for that last cup,” Mo chuckled.
However, when Mo made this concoction for his friends, much of the same happened as it almost seemed too good to be true.
“That was our cactus moment, if you will, because after just on sip we knew that we had something special,” Kun beamed.
Getting down to the science of the drink, this liquid heaven is made from the puree of a prickly pear which is the fruit that is found on the top of cacti.
“The first question that you have is ‘cacti have fruit?’” Jay snickered.
Nonetheless, the friends hit the ground running and sought to set themselves apart from the competitive beverage market and use their knowledge in the medical field to help them construct a guilt free drink that would appeal to the masses.
“Picture this, you’re going to your local market on a Saturday morning, and you’re greeted by one of us in a cactus suit, how could that not put a smile on your face?” Mo asked.
Not only do these fellows want to make people happy, but they also want to make them healthy.
“We had a passion for helping people and we met in Boston after pharmacy school and decided to put our degrees to good use,” Aakash said.
This said, the doctors’ intention of being health conscious succeeded in formulating a drink that serves as an alternative to coconut water. The only exceptions are that Pricklee contains significantly fewer calories and sugar but half the fat content.
Even now after launching their product in February of 2021, these friends cannot believe how one conversation about a mere pipe dream sold out of its first batch in the first four weeks and then went on to sell 30 cases a quarter to 15,000 cases in a single month.
“We called him out on his bluff, and we lost that day,” Jay said as he shook his head.
Now this business is thriving in all environments across the country as the flavors of Prickly Pear, Strawberry Hibiscus and Mango Ginger are proving to be in high demand and well received by the public.
Still working their day jobs as pharmacists, the group hopes to be full time entrepreneurs by the end of the year as they reflect on their humble beginnings that brought them to where they are today, owing everything to their parents.
“We are the representation that the American dream is alive and well. We’re that textbook example of first-generation Americans whose families sacrificed everything to give us the opportunities that they didn’t have,” Kun said.