It all started with that very first delivery. Crystal Rock founder, Mr. Henry Baker Sr., traveled by horse-drawn carriage, providing half gallon glass bottles of the clean, fresh drinking water that people needed – straight to their doors.
In 1917, founder Henry Baker, Sr. became the sole owner of the Stamford, CT based Crystal Rock Company.
After accidently injuring his right thumb and told he’d be unable to use his hand, Henry Baker Sr. continued to serve his customers, with one arm in a sling. Talk about customer service.
While drilling a well at his Stamford home at 313 Long Ridge Road, Henry Sr. discovered a well water supply that would establish Stamford as the first Crystal Rock water bottling plant.
When Henry Sr. passed, his wife Gladys and 15-year old son, Henry, kept the business alive and well. Henry worked nights and weekends at the plant until he finished school, and later dedicated himself full time to the family company.
With 40 employees and an expanded fleet of aqua blue vehicles, the water company that began from the back of a horse-drawn carriage, evolved into Crystal Rock – delivering bottled water and non-perishable snack refreshments to businesses and individuals.
Born into the legacy and involved at an early age, Henry Baker Jr., was finally appointed President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Crystal Rock.
It didn’t take long before the booming water company outgrew its original location at Long Ridge Road. In 1968, Henry Baker Jr. built a new, larger facility in the same town of Stamford to accommodate the ever-growing volume of business.
Sons of Henry Baker, Jr. – Peter and Jack Baker – joined the family business, beginning their journey in the water business and strengthening the Crystal Rock team.
For Henry Jr., like his father, giving back to the community mattered. Before expanding their facilities, he allowed volunteer firemen to set the original plant building on fire, to ensure that when the community was really in need, the local fire squad would be well prepared.
With business booming and a need for expansion, Crystal Rock moved from Stamford to establish its official headquarters in Watertown, CT, including a 72,000 square foot bottling facility.
Every day in Stamford, the most junior employee raised and lowered the flag that stood outside the facility. To continue this tradition in Watertown, employees independently purchased a new flagpole with an honorary plaque, as a tribute to the Baker family and their founding principles of quality and service.
Recognizing the need for a cleaner, easier and safer way to load water bottles onto their coolers, John Baker developed and patented the No Spill, Water Safe Technology – eliminating spills on the floor and airborne particles in the tank.
For all of his hard work and visionary ideas to help grow Crystal Rock, Henry Baker, Jr. was inducted into the Bottled Water Hall of Fame.
Learning from the early guidance of their father, Peter and Jack Baker were appointed Co-Presidents of Crystal Rock.
Committed to an exceptional level of water quality for every bottle of water that Crystal Rock distributed to it’s customers, Peter Baker served as a chairman of the Board of Directors for the IBWA (International Bottled Water Association).
With passion to continue evolving the family business, Peter and Jack Baker took on new responsibilities within the company. In 2000, Peter was named Director and President, while Jack filled the shoes of Executive Vice President.
Crystal Rock expanded its footprint, merging with Vermont-based water company, Vermont Pure. Together the partnership would position both companies to take full advantage of the anticipated future growth of the bottled water industry.
Peter Baker was appointed CEO of the Crystal Rock – driven by a passion to continue the legacy that his grandfather had built.
Through a total of sixteen small company acquisitions in a two-year period, Crystal Rock added over 18,000 customers and nearly $10.7M in annual sales.
With the installation of 1,661 solar panels to the rooftop of Crystal Rock’s bottling facility, the Solar PV System went live – expecting to supply nearly 28% of the Watertown facility’s total electrical needs – and proving Crystal Rock’s commitment to environmental innovation.
In 2010, the once privately held Crystal Rock company went public on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time as Crystal Rock Holdings, Inc.
A line of branded coffee brings “taste, energy, and happiness” (not to mention, a whole lot of buzz) to 100,00 Crystal Rock customers.
To become a broader single source solution for business customers, Crystal Rock launched a new Crystal Rock Office brand – providing over 40,000 office product essentials.
For Crystal Rock, involvement in the community ranks high on the company priority list. In 2010 alone, the team supported over 10 community organizations and events throughout the Northeast, from local youth sporting events to the annual Life is Good Festival.
In order to articulate its century old promise, and proactively look toward servicing its customers in the future, the company aligns its four house brands under the Crystal Rock name.
As another act of selfless service and dedication to the community, Peter Baker led awareness and fund-raising efforts as Co-Chair of the Greater Waterbury CT United Way Campaign, raising over $3.5M for the organization.
The company makes another major investment in continual corporate education, opening a dedicated classroom and product display showroom in Watertown, CT, called the Crystal Rock Learning & Development Center.