You know what's a really sexy phrase? "Alkaline Fulvic Trace." Mmm, just really rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? Wait, no. That's wrong. That is not a phrase that makes me want to drink whatever it's describing. So, who over at blk. water made the executive decision to put that description front and center on the blk. bottle? Was it those crazy Manzo boys? Well, I can't technically answer that question (my guess would be the same person who decided to make "Manzo'd" a verb), but I have been wondering exactly how involved the Manzos still are with blk., their Real Housewives of New Jersey pet project. Might it be featured more regularly on Manzo'd with Children (shudder) than just emblazoned across every t-shirt Albie and Chris wear in the promos?
Who could forget when sweet Albie Manzo decided to ease his post-law school rejection woes by starting a business with his jolly but not particularly driven brother Chris. What would kind of foolproof, Shark Tank-worthy plan could they get going with plenty of capital and a nation of Bravo viewers on their side? Black water! Water that is black! Because the only thing more disconcerting than getting a swig of coffee when you're expecting water is getting a swig of water when you're expecting water and then realizing that this water doesn't look or taste like water — EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS A LIE. So, yeah, this whole black water thing, no matter how powerful its electrolytes are, did not seem like it was going to work out. And yet, I see blk. regularly stocked on the shelves of my neighborhood Duane Reade and according to its website, blk. is available on Amazon and in stores across the country. Someone is managing to do something right with a very wrong-feeling product.
Chris Laurita, head New Jerseyan in charge
Chris Laurita, Albie and Little Chris' uncle — Caroline and Dina Manzo's brother, not to be confused with the fact that Caroline and Dina married brothers — proudly proclaims himself the President and CEO of blk. Beverages on his Twitter. Laurita was there with Albie when they first discovered "black water" at a food and beverage trade show in New York; it's a Canadian spring water that turns black because of a chemical reaction between the water and fulvic acid. After finding the black water, there was no questions that the Manzos and Lauritas wanted to take things from personal to professional. As a business owner, Laurita seems to have taken Albie and Chris under his wing, but hopefully blk. can avoid that pesky bankruptcy business his apparel business ran into in 2009.
The Manzo Boys, traveling salesmen
Albie is out there on the streets, you guys. From social media and the blk. website it's unclear exactly what Chris contributes to the company (although positive energy is certainly important in its own right), but it's obvious that Albie covers all the sales and marketing. He's personally bringing the product to stores, sending out blk. merchandise to people who tag him on Instagram with the product, and pedaling this stuff everywhere that will let him. It really must give you an energy boost.
...And the whole gang
Blk. has always been a family endeavor, and though its apparent success could be at least partially a result of the free Bravo marketing, it also seems to get a lot of support from the Laurita/Manzo clan at large.
Though it's just Chris Laurita and Albie and Chris Manzo officially, it looks like CJ might be ready to join in on the weird black water fun soon too.
Hurry, CJ. Get out while you still can!
Images: Albie Manzo/Instagram (3)