Sunday, March 20, 2011

Empresario Cubano Vicente Cossio






Falleció el cubano que popularizó los refrescos Materva y Jupiña en EEUU

Última actualización Saturday, 19 March 2011 12:39
Publicado Saturday, 19 March 2011 12:09
Por REDACCIÓN CAFÉFUERTE

- Vicente Cossío, fundador de la embotelladora Cawy y fabricante de los populares refrescos Materva y Jupiña en Estados Unidos, falleció esta semana en Miami a los 83 años.



Vicente Cossío, fundador de la embotelladora Cawy en EEUU. Foto de archivo.
Cossío continuó en tierras estadounidenses la tradición iniciada por su padre en 1948 en Cuba. La embotelladora Cawy llegó a tener cuatro plantas en la isla: en Rancho Boyeros (La Habana), Matanzas, Yaguajay (antigua provincia Las Villas) y Bayamo (antigua provincia de Oriente).

Era natural de Camajuaní, hoy provincia de Villaclara, donde nació el 27 de septiembre de 1927. Desde joven trabajó junto a su padre y dominó los secretos del sabor del famoso refresco Cawy de Limón y el Agua Mineral Cawy.

Las cuatro fábricas fueron expropiadas en 1960, bajo promesa de compensación por el nuevo gobierno revolucioinario, y la familia Cossío se exilió en Estados Unidos dos años después.

Para poder subsistir al llegar a Miami, Cossío siguió la ruta de muchos de sus compatriotas exiliados en aquellos años. Con el sueño de prosperar económicamente en Estados Unidos, comenzó a vender galletas desde un camión durante el día y vajillas de porcelana por la noche.

En 1964, se asoció con Néstor Machado y obtuvo financiamiento de otros dos exiliados cubanos -Celestino Villalba y Frank García- para establecer la embotelladora Cawy.

Pronto el empresario se dio cuenta de que el mercado del agua mineral y los refrescos de limón era demasiado competitivo -dominado por Pepsi Cola y Coca Cola- y decidió concentrarse en sodas afines al paladar latino.

Así empezó a fabricar Materva, Jupiña y Quinabeer, que fueron producidas por otras firmas en Cuba antes de las expropiaciones decretadas por el régimen de Fidel Castro. Se reinventaba en el exilio la tradición que fue obligada a desaparecer en la isla.

Posteriormente incorporó otros refrescos: Malta Cawy y Malta Rica, Coco Solo, Cola Champaña, Melón, Fruti-Cola y Rica Naranja-Mandarina.

En la actualidad Cawy Bottling -con sede en Miami- figura entre las compañías privadas hispanas de mayor éxito en la nación.

La compañía distribuye sus productos en los condados Miami-Dade y Broward, pero también pueden conseguirse en Illinois, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Nueva York, Nueva Jersey, Texas, California y Maryland, además de realizar ventas millonarias en Centroamérica, España y Canadá.

Cossío falleció el 12 de marzo después de varios años con problemas de salud, que no fueron revelados por la familia. Le sobreviven su esposa Carmen, su hijo Vicente -actual presidente de la embotelladora Cawy- y tres hijos más: Jossie, Antolín y Carmen.

web http://www.cawy.net/#
Contact Information
Cawy Bottling Co., Inc.
2440 NW 21st Terrace
Miami, FL 33142
FL Tel. 305-634-8669
Toll Free 877-917-2299
Fax 305-634-2291



Cawy Bottling manufactures fruit-flavored soft drinks favored by members of the Latin community in Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Its products are distributed throughout the US, Canada, Spain, and Central America. The company, established in Cuba in 1948, moved to the US in the early 1960s as a result of the takeover of the island (and Cawy's operations) by Fidel Castro. Cawy's first product introduction to the US market was Cawy Lemon Lime. The company soon expanded to offer other fruit-flavored drinks (pineapple-flavored Jupiña, Cawy's biggest seller) and herbal drinks such Materva, a yerba mate-enhanced soda. (Yerba mate is said to benefit the immune system.)


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DEATHS
Vincent Cossio, founder of Cawy Bottling in Miami, dies



Cossio
BY CARLI TEPROFF

CTEPROFF@MIAMIHERALD.COM

When Vincent Cossio left Cuba in 1962, he came to Miami with what he knew was the formula for success: the recipe for Cuba’s popular Cawy lemon-lime soda.
Using the secret passed along by his father as his base, Cossio went on to mastermind more fruit flavors, like watermelon and pineapple, and started a bottling company in West Miami-Dade.
The mom-and-pop soda company soon created a niche bottling Cawy, Materva and Jupiña – drinks popular in Latin America – to separate them from the soft drink giants.
Born in Camajuani, Las Villa, Cuba on Sept. 21, 1927, Cossio studied at Colegio de Belen with the class of 1946 and later at the University of Havana. His father founded Cawy bottling company in Cuba in 1948, manufacturing lemon-lime soda, orange soda and mineral water, and Cossio worked alongside him, learning how to run a business.
“He knew the business inside and out,’’ said son Vicente Cossio, now president of the company. “He was involved in everything.’’
Cossio died March 12. He has had declining health for years, his son said . Cossio was 83.
He met the love of his life, wife Carmen, when they were teenagers.
“He had a deep and enduring love for my mother, who even after 58 years of marriage, he affectionately referred to as his beauty,’’ his youngest daughter Josie van Hemert wrote in a eulogy for her father.
The couple and their three children fled Cuba in 1962 for the United States. (A fourth child came along later).
“He literally didn’t have a penny in his pocket,’’ said Vicente Cossio. “But he made it work.’’
At first the family stayed with friends and Vincent Cossio made ends meet by selling crackers out of a truck during the day and selling fine China at night.
“He was a jack of all trades,’’ said Vicente Cossio.
The family got creative, getting cast-off furniture that had been discarded.
“At one point they ate off an ironing board as a table,’’ added van Hemert.
After two years in Miami, Cossio he teamed up with Nestor Machado and got financial backing from Celestino Villalba and Frank Garcia.
At first the company started with the lemon-lime drink, but Vincent Cossio soon realized it was hard to compete against bigger companies. Vincent Cossio began experimenting, trying to come up with flavors that would set the company apart from the larger companies. He reached out to already establish brands in Cuba and began bottling them in the United States.
In a 1985 El Nuevo Herald article, Cossio said it was hard to compete against big soda manufacturers including Coke and Pepsi, saying he was a just a baby compared to the larger companies.
“My father would set up his lab and start playing with different flavors,’’ said Vicente Cossio. “We were the guinea pigs.’’
Vincent Cossio also used his general contractor background to build the current plant and he also built many of the processing machines still used today.
Despite running a big company, Cossio cared for nothing more than his family.
“He’d call at least once a day just see how we were doing,’’ Vicente said.
Von Hemert said her father did everything to make sure his four children were happy and successful.
“My dad led by example, expecting no less of each of us than he expected of himself,’’ she said in her eulogy. “He lived by his convictions, namely honesty, integrity, decency and the importance of family, and those he did not compromise.’’
In addition to wife Carmen, son Vicente and daughter Josie, Cossio is survived by son Antolin Cossio and daughter Carmen Rodriguez ; and a half-borther Diosdado Cossio.
Services were held.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/03/18/2122424/vincent-cossio-founder-of-cawy.html#ixzz1H9m0mspM

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