Floating A New ‘Awa Drink Idea

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - October 31, 2007
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Rachelle Fahrni, Dr. John Pierce, Steven George and Joe Smith
Rachelle Fahrni, Dr. John Pierce, Steven George and Joe Smith of Float Beverages marketing their new ‘awa drink

Having balance in life is not easy, especially when a person has two jobs and a family. Steve George says he created his beverage company, Float, with the busy person’s life in mind.

“I chose Float because at the end of the day people just want to relax,” says George, whose first line of products is the Awa2O drink, a combination of kava and ginger. “Float is also about being in the water relaxing. It represents balance, and it feels round like a life preserver. There are so many meanings to the name. Drinking kava is relaxing.”

Kava can be referred to as ‘awa, ‘ava, yoqona or sakau for the plant and the drink in various South Pacific islands.

George says what started as a hobby has now become a business that sells 10-ounce glass bottles of Awa2O at Tamura’s, Down to Earth, and Celestial Natural Food Store in Haleiwa. The Awa2O contains kava, ginger, mint and sugar.

“People have been drinking ‘awa safely for thousands of years,” says George. “We try to explain that to people who bring up the controversial issue that it causes liver damage. A small percentage of alleged cases of hepatotoxicity have been reported mainly from Europe - which has started the controversy about kava’s safety. There are more than 100 varietals of kava plants, and it has a history of safe use with careful plant selection. Preparation can make a difference. Float Beverages takes the utmost care in the selection of kava it uses, and extracts the active ingredients such as kavalactones through a scientific fluid extraction to safely encapsulate the end ingredients.”

Plans for the future include expanding the kava line of beverages with a vanilla-flavored one and a stronger blend. Other possible plans include taking the product to other places like the Neighbor Islands and American Samoa.

George toyed with the kava drink idea about five years ago, and the idea was rekindled.

“The forces that be, in the sense of getting connected, and finding a product that hadn’t been done is why I went with this one,” he explains.

He says his team is what drives the company, and at the same time he admits that the logistics of growing the team is his toughest challenge - and his greatest reward.

“We created this business out of thin air,” says George.

Rachelle Fahrni serves as project manager and handles the finances. Joseph Smith is the sales and marketing director. John Pierce is the kava expert. The foursome has had the chance to introduce the drink to the public.

“To see the expression on their faces when they taste it,” says George. “People don’t expect it to taste good. Once they taste it they say, ‘It’s good. It’s not muddy water.’”

For more information, log onto www.float-beverage.com


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For those interested in kava products from Hawaii, please visit: http://www.drinkozia.com

I have just released a new beverage called Ozia which is a blend of lemon balm, chamomile, and kava.  It is an earthy and smooth blend made in Aiea, Hawaii.  Released under Kalipso Blue, I hope to exceed your expectations and hope you enjoy this new kava blend offered at stores such as Down to Earth and Tamura’s Fine Wine and Liquors.


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