After 16 years in the restaurant business, Pete Howey and Aaron Nocks, the forward-thinking entrepreneurs behind the local Peace A Pizza franchise, have launched a new venture, New Hope Premium Fountain. And the move seems like a logical one.
“There are thousands of choices in bottled beverages, but we were frustrated with not having an alternative to Pepsi or Coke on the fountain side of the business,” says Howey. “The market is limited to primarily those two companies.”
So they developed their own—a delicious, healthy, sparkling drink that satisfies taste wise, but doesn’t contain additives like high-fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid or caffeine. New Hope’s Cane Cola is sweetened with pure cane sugar and made with all-natural flavors.
Much like Peace A Pizza’s unorthodox varieties, New Hope mixes it up with flavors like Watermelon Cream, Green Apple, Cherry Cane Cola and Healthy Huckleberry. The beverages are made in small quantities in Huntington Valley, allowing Howey and Nocks to experiment with new flavors seasonally.
From an environmental standpoint, fountain drinks are clearly the better choice, and New Hope offers compostable cups with every installation. In their product research, Howey and Nocks learned that about 38 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills each year—almost 100 million a day. “Fountain beverages contribute about a 10th of the carbon footprint of a bottled beverage,” says Howey. “They’re something people have blindly consumed since there wasn’t another option. Now there is.”
But Howey and Nocks must make other restaurant owners into believers. They’ve also approached food-service providers at drug companies, universities and hospitals. In addition to Peace A Pizza in Ardmore, New Hope beverages are available at The Whip Tavern in Coatesville, Bake 425 Pizza in Bryn Mawr, Melt Down in Wayne, and Bryn and Dane’s in Horsham.
“It’s a longer sale cycle to get people to buy a fountain product,” says Howey. “It’s much different than asking them to invest in a bottled beverage.”
New Hope has also introduced Juiced Up, a juice-and-sparkling-water mix aimed at the younger set, with the goal of getting this healthier beverage into schools and kid-friendly restaurants.
“It’s been such a trend of improving the food that’s served everywhere,” says Howey. “Ten years ago, there wasn’t an awareness of where your food came from, or how and what it was made with. People now want to know, and they expect the best.” Visit newhopefountain.com.