By Raan Parton and Marc Kohlbry
Photos by Rick DeVos
The world always seems to be getting smaller. We were recently reminded of this when we met Ben Gott in Chicago while we were both passing through for work. We were introduced to Ben through our friend Gabe Stullman, the proprietor of the restaurant Joseph Leonard. Ben is an incredibly talented creative mind, and we are incredibly excited about his newest venture – Boxed Water. We were recently able to touch base with Ben, as he took a break from the Boxed Water offices in Grand Rapids to catch-up.
Ben, born Benjamin Edgar Gott in 1981, grew up in the small neighborhood of Park Forest just south of Chicago. His upbringing in the area came from his teaching mother and carpenter father. They instilled the importance of entrepreneurship in both him and his sister. After a failed attempt at staring a business selling carnivorous plants, stints as a web designer, and a position as the web/information architecture consultant at a supply chain consulting startup, Ben is now one of the key minds behind Boxed Water. Started with the simple idea of creating a new bottled water brand that is kinder to the environment and gives back - Ben found that water shouldn't be bottled at all, but instead, boxed.
While Ben can usually be found in the Grand Rapid’s office, he is quick to point out that he refuses to confine himself to making the distinction between his “work” and his “life”. He combines the two, and pursues each and every avenue that he feels passionately about. Ben always is looking for time to cycle around the vibrant city of Grand Rapids, a city whose relaxed college atmosphere and beautiful scenery make it a perfect home for Ben. Above anything though, Ben values the relationships he has with his family and friends, and while his work days tend to be busy, he always finds time in the evenings to unwind over a drink with friends.
It’s always a treat when we are able to connect with Ben, and our shared interest in combining sustainability with commerce will no doubt continue to fuel our friendship.