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Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 3, March 2014, Posted On: 2/17/2014

Father And Son Team Acquires Bluedrop, Maker Of 'Fill-Your-Own Bottle' Water Machines

Emily Jed
TAGS: Water Vending Machine, Healthy Vending, Bluedrop LLC, Mark Dickinson, Brendan Dickinson, Reverse Osmosis, Keith Whitestone, Ken Kellaway, Ice Machines, Pure Water Services, Office Coffee Service

Bluedrop Vending RANDOLPH, MA -- Bluedrop LLC has been acquired by Mark Dickinson, one of the company's original shareholders, and his son Brendan, a member of its leadership team.

Bluedrop's single-serve vending machines purify municipal tap water using a filtration and reverse osmosis process. Customers refill their own reusable bottles, reducing the cost and waste associated with bottled water. The venders are best suited for colleges, schools, fitness clubs and other "closed loop" settings in which customers have their bottles in hand and can frequent them consistently.

Under the new ownership, Brendan Dickinson becomes Bluedrop's president. Keith Whitestone, a consumer products marketing veteran who has worked at Polaroid Corp., Philip Morris, Dr Pepper/Seven Up and Quaker Oats, is the company's executive vice-president. Mark Dickinson is chairman; he is also president of Quincy, MA-based Dickinson Development, a developer of commercial properties throughout New England. Bluedrop founder Ken Kellaway, chief executive of RoadOne, a national intermodal logistics firm, is remaining active with the business serving as vice-chairman.

Bluedrop also manufactures bulk water and combination water-and-ice vending machines that allow customers to purchase 1- and 5-gallon water refills of purified water and freshly bagged ice outside grocery and convenience stores, among other high-traffic retail sites, offering 24/7 service. It makes point-of-use water coolers for the home and office coffee service markets, too.

Additionally, Bluedrop markets "healthy" snack vending machines paired with commercial "free-vend" purified water machines as an all-inclusive "snack and hydration center."

The new owners said that Bluedrop is seeking strategic partnerships, investment partners and vending machine locations.

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