Hal’s New York launched a line of soda and ginger ale in 2015, which has since expanded to include potato chips and pretzels.

Howl’s New Yorka homegrown brand of soda and treats since 2015, not only makes some thirst-quenching and tasty treats, but it’s also a touching way for a family to pay tribute to the legacy of their late patriarch.

Lewis Hershkowitz is big geyser, a nonalcoholic beverage and snack distributor based in Maspeth, New York, serving the five boroughs of New York City, as well as Long Island and Westchester. The company was originally founded in 1986 by Lewis’ father Owen, nicknamed Hal.

During Hal’s death in 2011, Lewis and his brother Steven began brainstorming the idea of ​​launching their own line of beverages to honor and honor him, Hershkowitz said.

“We did some research and found that there was room for another soda in the New York market, and we realized that none of the other brands out there were really ‘New York.’ They focused on domestic brands like Seagram’s, Schweppes and Canada Dry, “He said. “We just loved the sound of ‘Hal’s New York.'” It was an interesting project, and the more we worked on it, the more it felt like it was something we could really do, and do well. “

Hal’s New York launched a line of soda and ginger ale as a stand-alone company that later expanded to include chips and pretzels; however, Hershkowitz noted that he was surprised at how quickly word of mouth spread for the new line.

“Hal’s started to take shape in 2014, we launched our sparkling water line in 2015, and like most new brands, we had to make some adjustments to the label and some of the flavors,” he said. “We initially started selling soda through Big Geyser in New York, but as soon as word got around we were contacted by stores and other distributors who wanted Hal’s in their area. We even started getting requests for branded apparel , is really popular now.”

Hershkowitz has been with Big Geyser full-time since 1994 and has been the company’s CEO for the past 20 years.

“I worked with my dad every day until he died,” he said. “My dad was a street salesman all his life. He almost never came to the office; he was always building his brand on the street. He never had a desk or a chair or anything, he was on the street where he wanted to be.”

Fast forward to today, and Hal’s New York drinks and snacks are available in stores across the country, according to Joe Galioto, vice president of sales.

“We’ve been lucky that during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had some extra time to develop the Hal’s brand outside of the New York market,” he said. “We were able to expand to distribution partners throughout the Northeast, and then from there we were able to really expand to retailers across the country, such as Publix, Central Market, Whole Foods and many other major retail partners.”

Hal’s New York is also rapidly becoming an internationally recognized brand, Galioto said.

“We were contacted by distributors in Canada, France and Israel, and they’ve been exporting our products there,” he said. “It’s totally amazing how word of mouth about Hal’s has spread so far, and in fact, the single most item we ship out of the country is our potato chips.”

Hershkowitz points out that Hal’s New York chips come in a variety of different and tempting flavors, and it’s their unique way of making them that really sets them apart.

“One advantage we have over our competitors is that we cook our chips in sunflower oil, so when you stay away from peanut oil, you don’t have to worry about allergens, whereas many of our competitors cook in peanut oil, “He said. “The quality and taste…the brand seems to resonate with people.”

Today, Hal’s continues to grow—the company recently added a second bottling plant in the Southeast—and distributors and retailers across the country continue to contact them to expand their markets. But in the end, Hershkowitz says, being able to grow a brand that began as a tribute to his beloved late father — and watch it grow over the years — was more than worth all the hard work he’d put into it.

“We’ve got something special here and we’re honestly very proud and very humbled. We’ve had such wonderful feedback from our customers,” he said. “We did think there was a little bit of divine intervention, we knew if Hal was here, he would love this. He would love the product and make it, and we made sure we made a quality product because Hal would never have any other methods.”

“We had fun doing it, but it was definitely a bit surreal at the same time, the success and the response the brand had,” Hershkowitz added. “It was crazy.”

To learn more, please visit halsnewyork.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *