Fort-Worth half-marathon runner Gabriel Zambrano has made a change of pace recently venturing into the entrepreneurial scene with his startup Aguas on the Trinity.
Zambrano began competing in half-marathons at a young age and just never stopped running, but one day after a race he started to question the usual post workout sports drinks. He wanted a drink that was healthy, but also just as refreshing as the agues frescas back in his native Mexico. After finding no beverage to quench his thirst, he started Aguas on the Trinity in June.
As a boy, Zambrano lived in Acuña Coahuila, Mexico and still has many family members who reside in the border town where his mother learned a recipe for aguas frescas. The cool beverage is traditionally made with a blend of fruits, seeds, cereals, sugar, and water.
“She knew the owner of the store where they would make them in her hometown, but her batch took 30 minutes and was filled with powder and sugar,” Zambrano said. “Mine takes longer, but you can taste and feel the difference.”
AGUAS FRESCAS ON THE TRINITY USES FRESH, LOCAL INGREDIENTS
Zambrano uses fresh ingredients and buys local when he can. Instead of mixing in refined sugar, he lets the sweetness of the fruits stand alone.
He has started selling the drinks at local sporting events. They’re also available more regularly at Taco Head in Fort Worth. Zambrano approached taco shop owner Sarah Castillo and told her about his idea for healthy and refreshing aguas frescas. Castillo loved it.
“We have been helping him experiment and have been his guinea pig when it comes to seeing which flavors sell, but they have been a hit,” Castillo said. “Gabriel is a hardworking guy and we wanted to help him grow the retail side. We might eventually invest in him.”
When Zambrano first debut his drink at an event, he brought five gallons and sold out in the first couple of hours. During another event, he brought twice as much and still sold out just as fast.
“It requires patience and hard work, but at the end if it’s what you love, then it’s worth it.”
“I kept getting people who would come up to me at Taco Head or at the barber and say, ‘hey, I saw you in the newspaper,'” Zambrano said. “It’s just a great feeling to be supported.”
Zambrano focuses on fresh ingredients and carries multiple flavors at a time, but they can change at any moment with the season. Flavors currently include pineapple mango, coconut horchata, cucumber, lime, and a list of different limeades.
“I don’t want my product to be something someone can go drive and pick up at any store,” Zambrano said. “My company is the only place that makes it like this.”
Because the product is fresh and made daily it leads him to his next business step for the company — brick-and-mortar. His goal is for the storefront to open up along the Trinity River because of his own experience running by the water.
Zambrano said his company will give back to its namesake river by eventually sponsoring volunteer river clean up events with free aguas frescas.
“It’s just like a marathon,” Zambrano said. “It requires patience and hard work, but at the end if it’s what you love, then it’s worth it.”
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