By: Dale Fisk
Whole Foods Market closed a deal with Evelyn Snider to buy Starkey Hot Springs on April 24. The next day, they took over the lease on the Cuddy Mountain Water building at the Council Industrial Park.
Whole Foods plans to haul water from the hot springs to Council where they will bottle it and then sell it in 345 grocery stores in North America. The company will be making some required changes to the equipment in the former Cuddy Mountain Water building. Since Whole Foods will sell the water in such a large area, the FDA regulations they are required to meet in their bottling plant are stricter than those Cuddy Mountain Water had to meet.
Jeff Teter, President/General Manager of Allegro Coffee Company (a subsidiary of Whole Foods Market), has been negotiating the purchase agreements for the past several months. He bought a number of copies of the book, “Landmarks, A General History of the Council Idaho Area,” which contains a comprehensive history of Starkey, and distributed it to various decision makers in the company. When asked how they plan to market the water, Teter said, “The fellow that heads up our internal produce development really likes the Starkey story, so we think at this point we’re going to call it Starkey Spring Water.”
In the purchase of the Starkey property, there are a number of deed restrictions upon Whole Foods. For instance, the company has agreed to continue the traditions that Evelyn Snider had established, such as the annual graduation night party for high school seniors, evenings when the pool is open for swimming, and more.
The company has indicated they want to be good neighbors and contribute to the economy of our area. Teter said, “Our plan is to develop a pretty big web site presence, with pictures and video, talking about Adams County and Council and Starkey Hot Springs.”