At the most basic level, success in business depends on identifying a need and responding with a product or service to capitalize on that need. This no-fuss, elemental formula describes much of the story behind Meaford, Ontario-based Quench Buggy.
Quench Buggy produces clean, filtered, mobile water stations that are available for sale or rent. As Chief Hydration Officer Darryl Hindle explains it, the idea for the enterprise came about when he witnessed a woman at a festival denied something as simple as a refill of drinking water.
“My background is engineering, but I left that around 2010 to help my parents in their portable restroom business,” Hindle says. “During that time, I was approached at a festival I was doing by a lady who wanted to refill her water bottle at our handwash station. This was not an option because that is not potable water. But that day and that thought never left my head. I started doing research to see if there was something we could rent out for our family business for that kind of situation, where people were looking to refill water bottles. I approached a local manufacturer who built our vacuum trucks and asked them if they would be interested in helping me with this project. They said yes, and that’s where it all started. We built our first Quench Buggy and had our first event in 2011.”
The primary Quench Buggy is a double-sided trailer unit that is built of stainless steel and has 330 gallons of fresh, potable-certified water storage on board as well as a greywater tank. It offers four bottle fillers and four drinking fountains on each side with child/accessible stations, making the unit ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.
Additions to the Quench Buggy product line soon followed.
“From there, we started doing some smaller events and decided to build our kiosk unit, which is the Quench Cart. It’s a single-sided unit on casters — four bottle fillers, four drinking fountains. Much the same as the Quench Buggy, just half of it. Just this year, we built our new unit called the Quench Solo, which is a single, automated unit, with the option to attach to a municipal source or 5-gallon jugs. We built that really for the construction and film industries,” Hindle says.
Initially, the Quench Buggy was marketed to municipalities, utilities and small local events. Its practicality caught on and today Quench Buggy products are transported to large music and street festivals throughout Canada and the U.S.
Due to geographical constraints, the next step for Quench Buggy is to strike relationships with partners across the continent to distribute the product in a way that makes economic sense for both the company and its customers.
“We’re going to start providing equipment to partners in cities around North America who can do the work for us,” Hindle says. “We’ve set up partners already in California and are working with a couple in St. Louis and Pittsburgh that are in businesses that are complementary to ours. We can’t travel to local events in Missouri, for example, for a one-day festival for 1,000 people. It doesn’t make financial sense for the event or for us. But we get so many requests in every city we go to, so by having local partners we’re going to be able to broaden our range and start upping the number of festivals that we can help with.”
Sticking to the basics of business has worked for Hindle so far, and rental has been a good business model for the trajectory of Quench Buggy.
“It’s the basics. Like a lot of small businesses, you start from a need that’s been identified, and you expand on that and see where it goes,” he says. “We’re kind of unique niche in the rental world. But I love the rental business and I loved our family’s portable restroom business. It was an eye-opener that if you keep your equipment in good shape and you provide good customer service, then rental is a great business to be in.”