Homegrown concept to turn Prickly Pear fruits into water goes global

What started out as an idea is now turning into a bustling worldwide business for one Valley man.

"Prickly Pear is indigenous to Arizona," said Tom Zummo, CEO of True Nopal Cactus Water. "We're surrounded by it."

Zummo's idea was to turn Prickly Pear cactus into bottled water. He's now joined forces with one of the biggest beverage distributors in the world. The Prickly Pear was something Zummo never really thought much of, until one day, he had an idea.

"It was just something that came to me while I was on my run through Scottsdale," said Zummo. He wondered if he could take the Prickly Pear fruit, and create a drink out of it. This was back in 2013, when coconut water and other beverages like it were all the rage.

"I started doing some research to see what kind of benefits were behind the Prickly Pear, and it was amazing," said Zummo. He found the juice was sweet, had less sugar than coconut water, and was packed with Vitamin C and electrolytes.

Zummo decided to start a business selling the water, and that's when Zummo said True Nopal Cactus Water was born. The Prickly Pear fruit is harvested from the Sonoran Desert, pressed, processed and then bottled.

In the four years since Zummo started, the business has been growing. He recently signed a deal with Suntory, one of the largest beverage distributors in the world.

"The brand is like one of my children," said Zummo. "You want to see your children excel and do magnificent things in their life, and my vision was to always see this be a global brand."

True Nopal will now be distributed to stores around the globe

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