- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) - Yuri Cataldo has dreamed of walking the red carpet at the Oscars.

But he says this is almost as exciting.

Last week, the Elkhart native prepared a special batch of his signature bottled water and shipped just under 100 cobalt blue bottles of IndigoH20 to Hollywood.

The alkaline mineral water, which is drawn from wells beneath his parents’ land in northern Elkhart County that tap into a glacial aquifer, will be delivered to the Oscar nominees and presenters Saturday night in the official Oscar swag bag.

“I was packing it up and thought about how surreal this feels,” the 35-year-old president of Glacier Bottling Co. told the South Bend Tribune (https://bit.ly/1AKVj2l ) as he reflected on how his bottled water has received star treatment at other awards shows, including the Emmys, Golden Globes and MTV Video Music Awards.

IndigoH20 will be delivered to movie stars at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills the night before the Academy Awards.

“It’s a complete honor to be included at the Oscars. For a company my size, this is a big deal,” Cataldo says. “I’m proud and humbled. It’s been a fantastic journey in a very short time.”

After graduating from Concord High School in 1998, Cataldo went to Indiana University in Bloomington before moving east. He attended The Juilliard School in New York and Yale University, where he received a master of fine arts degree. He designed costumes for an Al Pacino film and worked as an assistant curator at the New York Public Library, among various other theater and arts work, when the economy collapsed.

Jobs dried up, and after going through a divorce, Cataldo returned to Elkhart in 2010.

“I decided to become an entrepreneur, to jump in and start this bottled water company because I saw a hole in the market,” said Cataldo, who was named to the Michiana Forty Under 40 program in 2013. He also is a visiting lecturer at the IU South Bend Raclin School of the Arts.

Cataldo says his fascination with alkaline water grew after he was diagnosed with anemia and doctors told him to make changes in his diet and exercise.

Alkaline water contains more minerals than traditional purified water, Cataldo said. He uses BPA-free glass bottles in blue to help protect the minerals in the water, which he said is fluoride, hormone, drug and chemical free.

IndigoH20 earned a bronze medal in 2013 and a silver medal in 2014 at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.

Coincidentally, that annual competition is also scheduled for this weekend.

“For the last two years, getting that call on a Saturday night has been the highlight of my year,” Cataldo said, describing how this year would be no different. “Hopefully, this year we’ll win gold.”

Naturally, he plans to watch the Oscars on Sunday.

He has heard IndigoH20 might be seen during broadcasted pre-show interviews if the contents of the Oscar swag bags are unveiled.

A life-long Sherlock Holmes fan, Cataldo would be thrilled to see actor Benedict Cumberbatch drinking water from his cobalt blue bottle. “You never know when someone is going to bring water along with them,” he said.

“OK, that’s a small possibility,” he said with a laugh. “But this is a complete honor to be included at the Oscars.”

___

Information from: South Bend Tribune, https://www.southbendtribune.com


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