From Beer to Coconut Water, Josh Landan Talks His Journey and Purpose
Written By: Mayandra Robbins
Photographed By: Bhadri Kubendran
Expert: Josh Landan
Credentials: Co-Founder and CEO of Villager Goods
Movie Maker: Landan started out as a filmmaker who would make surf and skate videos.
Refreshing, smooth and not too sweet—just a few of the countless words used to describe Villager Coconut Water. Local business owner, Josh Landan, has taken the coconut water world by storm after releasing these healthy concentrate-free drinks. He and his fellow Villagers have produced this trendsetting beverage using organic coconut water from the tropical abode of the Philippines. Their desire to create a quality drink at a reasonable price has finally come to fruition. The Villagers’ passion for producing excellent products and their love for their own community resonates in everything they do. Whether it’s the tropical Pineapple Coconut Water, scrumptious Chocolate Coconut Water, or even the refreshing Original flavor, Villager Coconut Water is a delicious treat for all who partake in it.
Q: How did you first get involved with Villager Goods?
Josh Landan: We wanted to create a company where my friends and I could consume the product. We really wanted to make a product that was healthy, affordable and something we could use.
Q: How did the sports world inspire you to create Villager Coconut Water?
JL: Our product is great for athletes. For those who are active, staying hydrated is very important. It’s healthy, hydrating and has a lot of potassium, which prevents muscle cramps.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced while creating Villager Coconut Water?
JL: The biggest challenge is getting the product from the Philippines. We really wanted to make sure we found a quality product, but also keep the cost low at $2.49 so anyone could buy our product. But I would have to say that dealing with a supply chain on the other side of the world is the biggest challenge.
Q: Why did you decide to go to the Philippines to acquire your coconut water?
JL: The Philippines was the best choice for us to produce a high quality, organic, and not from concentrate product. Those combinations are not offered a lot of places in the world.
Q: How did your experience with the Saint Archer Brewing Company help you when you started Villager Goods?
JL: Saint Archer taught me everything. Having never gone to college, Saint Archer was my bachelor’s degree and my MBA all rolled into one from Harvard. All of those lessons and experiences have led me to Villager Goods.
Q: When was the moment that you realized that you wanted to switch from the brewing industry to the coconut water world?
JL: My time at Saint Archer had run its course and I wanted to create a healthy product for adults and kids. My wife, Jannine, and I have three kids under the age of 10 so living a more health conscious lifestyle has become a priority of ours. So, that being said creating a product that we were already buying on a regular basis was a no-brainer.
Q: How does it feel to have finally created your product?
JL: Awesome! It never gets old to see someone I don’t know enjoying our product. When I walk through the stores and see our product on the shelf or when I see people posting pictures of it on social media, it’s just amazing and it’s an accomplishment in its own right. I think the most rewarding aspect of it is that we were also able to create something healthy but tasty for both adults and kids. We wanted to give kids and adults healthier alternatives to energy drinks and sodas so, it has been great to see that come to life.
Q: What sets Villager Coconut Water apart?
JL: Our coconut water is organic and not from concentrate. Those two things are a rare combination on the coconut water shelves. Also, our original flavor is among the leaders for the least amount of sugar. The other thing is, it’s a great story of world-class athletes leaving big endorsement deals to build something that they believe in.
Q: Coconut water has become so popular over the past few years. Why do you think this drink trend has taken off?
JL: I think it’s because people want a healthier alternative. They also like the taste of it, especially since there are multiple flavors. We have a chocolate coconut water that kids love, and it tastes good. So, I think that’s why coconut water is becoming attractive to everyone of all ages.
Q: Coconut water is a great drink on its own, but it can also be mixed in a variety of ways. What’s your favorite way to mix up Villager Coconut Water?
JL: Coconut water is tough to beat in a really good smoothie. I know a lot of people will mix it with vodka, but I think that our coconut water mixes well in a smoothie. It really gives the smoothie the perfect thickness and it pairs well with any type of fruit you would use.
Q: Can we expect any new products to come in the near future?
JL: Yes. We will be coming out with more organic beverages and foods in the coming months.
Q: Who is your ideal audience that you are trying to reach with your product?
JL: Young parents and kids are our ideal audience as that is what we are.
Q: Did action sport filming help with meeting some of your fellow Villagers? Who are some of the professional athletes that helped you create your brand?
JL: Yes. The only reason why I met and ultimately developed close friendships with all of these athletes was because I was making films with them for so many years—Paul Rodriguez, Mikey Taylor, Eric Koston, Andrew Reynolds, Alana Blanchard, Taj Burrow, Pat Moore, Jack Freestone, and so many others
Brewery Owner: Landan was the Founder and CEO of the Saint Archer Brewing Company before he started Villager Goods.
Villagers: At Villager, they gathered like-minded people from a variety of trades—artists, snowboarders, skateboarders, photographers and surfers. Some notable ambassadors include Paul Rodriguez, Alana Blanchard, Eric Koston and Coco Ho.
Get Your Own: Villager Coconut Water is sold up and down the coast (and Palm Springs!), but local San Diegans can find theirs at stores like Ralphs, Smart & Final, Seaside Market in Cardiff and Lazy Acres.
1041 J St
San Diego, CA 92101
Organic Coconut Water Coming Straight From the Philippines? Yes, Please