How you can help the seltzer man of Capitol Hill

Webster Crowell has looked to the carbonated past to create a new business on Capitol Hill and he’s looking for community support to help things bubble up to the next level.

“Before we turned into a culture of disposable everything, you drank sodas at the soda fountain or you had a seltzer man,” Crowell says in a the fundraising pitch for his Under Pressure Seltzer Works. “Like you had a milk man only carbonated.”

Details on how to help your friendly neighborhood seltzer man reach his $2,830 goal are below. It sounds, if nothing else, like an investment in a relatively sustainable business. “These bottles are created to last forever,” Crowell says.


 Under Pressure Seltzer Works is a soda delivery operation on Capitol hill, aiming to re-introduce the Seltzer Trade to Seattle.  Recycled, Antique glass bottles with valve tops (Think three stooges) delivered to your door, replacing disposable bottles with antique containers and incredibly carbonated water, bottled on Capitol Hill.

After two years collecting antique bottles from around the nation and sourcing the machine required to fill an antique seltzer bottle, Under Pressure is raising money in order to begin delivering by spring.

I’ve created a fundraising campaign with rewards at  

Help from the neighborhood will make possible repairs, and the purchase of filtering and delivery equipment which has remained elusive.

Inspired by the Seltzer Trade in South America, Seltzer delivery is a trade once commonplace which can still be found in New York, Boston, and San Francisco.  As a collector, an environmentalist, and a drinker,  I hope there’s room for a small startup here on Capitol Hill once all the final equipment is arranged.

For more information, please contact:


Meanwhile, in other Capitol Hill-related entrepreneurial news, we received a press release from Seattle U biz student Alexandra Abraham about a company she has taken a leave of absence from her schooling to launch. Introducing DripCatchTom Douglas-approved, apparently:

DripCatch™, LLC announced today that it has begun manufacturing and distribution of a new, low-cost safety device that could significantly minimize the risk of costly “slip-and-fall” accidents in the food & beverage industry. The device, known as a DripCatch basin, snaps tightly underneath commercial glass and dishware racks and fits snugly into dollies to prevent excess water from leaking or spilling in kitchen and dining areas.

According to celebrity chef, award winning restaurateur and culinary writer Tom Douglas, “It’s great to find a product that makes you smack yourhead and go ‘Perfect! That’s just what we need!’ It keeps our floors dryer, our employees and customers safer, the restaurant cleaner and mehappier… win win win!”

Regional restaurant design, supply and distributor, Bargreen Ellingson, recently awarded DripCatch™ an exclusive distribution agreement coveringnine western states and British Columbia.

Alexandra Abraham, the 22-year old SU business student and inventor of DripCatch™, said, “I’m extremely honored by the help and support I’vereceived from restaurant industry icons, Tom Douglas and Bargreen Ellingson in launching our new company and safety product. When people of thiscaliber take the time and interest to support young entrepreneurs like me, anything is possible.” Alexandra also mentioned “the patient support andguidance provided by DripCatch™ manufacturer, Cashmere Molding of Woodinville, WA has been invaluable.”

According to Alexandra’s business advisors, DripCatch’s™ attractive pricing and risk mitigating characteristics make the market for this product/device almost too big to quantify. Every commercial food service business in the world is a potential customer.

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21 thoughts on “How you can help the seltzer man of Capitol Hill

  1. What a wonderful idea! Is Under Pressure currently delivering? How can we find out about ordering? (I just made a small contribution to the fundraiser — hope he makes his goal!)

  2. I am investing, no doubt about it. Hope he makes his goal. I wonder why though, he didn’t choose Kickstarter (I’ve already invested through there), as it’s a much bigger footprint and can get much more recognition.

    Since at the moment, it’s a Capitol Hill business on a bike, it would be helpful to have delivery boundaries stated in his proposal, so we can see where he will deliver too. Will there be pick-up and drop-off options for those not in the neighborhood?

    There’s also a huge market in restaurants, I’d MUCH rather see this offered on a table then Pelligrino. How fun would it be to have this brought to your table, so cool.

  3. No facebook page? No twitter? Webpage is just a placeholder of sorts.

    How’s he self promoting? Until today, never heard of this business or idea, and I live on the hill. Despite it being small, gotta have those pages up, that’s the only way people are going to hear about it.

  4. This conjures up faint memories of seltzer bottle racks and deliveries when I was a tot in NYC. Yeah, I’m that old.

    An alternative, of course, is to have your own bottle with CO2 cartridge…

  5. Sounds like the plan is to build his own trailer (which I am guessing it would be fun to do), but it might also be cheaper/quicker to get a Haulin Collin trailer.

    I have one of his trailers. It have a very clever mountain system that you could switch to other bikes and handles really well. I love it and recommend them to anyone needing to haul a bunch of heavy stuff around. I use it for gardening stuff, like many bags of mulch and even doing stuff like hauling dry wall home. It is insanely awesome trailer.

    They are about $700 bucks. Cheaper than a car, better for the environment and your bod.

  6. Yeah, “cool” or not, this is pretty ridiculous. I had to read over it twice to make sure he really was asking for donations to start his own for profit company.

  7. So forgive my ignorance.

    Seltzer is …what? I mean, I know old clowns squirted it at each other, but that’s about all I know. It is club soda? Is it sparkling water? Do you use it just to mix with booze and bitters and stuff, or do you drink it by itself?

    Also, I’d probably drink more milk if we had a milk man. I want that shit. I already have FCF delivery my produce, so I could use a beverage distributor. Milk, wine, mango lassies, what have you.

  8. Neat idea. And I don’t see anything wrong with asking neighbors for a bit of help getting a unique business off the ground. Anyway, if you give certain amounts you can select rewards, such as a case of seltzer. It’s not a handout if you don’t want it to be.

    That being said, I might actually use this business. I might be the only person in the world who failed at using a soda stream just last night.

  9. What about the standard way of raising capital for starting a business? Banks or credit unions? Small Business Administration? Other programs? Aren’t such sources possible anymore?

  10. This isn’t free advertising, this blog is all about Capitol Hill. And here we have a Capitol Hill business trying to grow and form a more solid foundation. JSeattle is merely tracking the story.

    Secondly, this is not a donation really. You do get something back for any contribution that you make. I am contributing $50. I get back a soda delivery to my house. A donation, at least to me, implies that you get nothing back.

    Third, this is a GREAT way to get a business up with some seed money. You, as a consumer, get to pick what type of business you want to succeed and help them during their course. Webster is using IndiGoGo, but Kickstarter is really the site that got this to take off. They are doing an incredible job finding funders to match business plans. I’ve contributed to at least 4 projects on Kickstarter and part of the fun is that you’re not only contributing but you’re part of the initial group that gets the business off the ground AND you get something back that matches your level of funding. I believe that Scott Staples of Quinn’s and Zoe is doing this right now. You contribute $ to help finish the new Zoe buildout and over time you get your money back, plus some (from what I understand), in the form of money to be used at Zoe. I personally feel like this community based type of support is brilliant. Keeps it in the community and brings more attention to the project.

  11. Um, yeah, that’s what I was thinking. I’ve had my own seltzer bottle for years, kept in the refrigerator. I buy CO2 cartridges to make my own seltzer. It’s a cute, nostalgic idea, but….oh well, best of luck with it. Hope it works out.

  12. Seltzer isn’t exactly club soda. Club Soda has a little bit of salts in it. Seltzer water is carbonated plain water with no additives at all. AKA sparkling water.

  13. Growing up in NY, the seltzer man was a weekly fixture at our house – delivering the old schooly seltzer bottles, syrups such as U Bet and flavored sodas. A Capitol Hill Seltzer Man is an awesome idea. I hope it works out for him.

  14. Looks like a plastic tray, am I missing something? Probably going to be in the way too. Bus tubs much more effective in moving dishes around and dishes out of a commercial washer dry in seconds too due to the rinse agent or high temp.

    Seltzer dude is going to be hella sad when fools break those bottles he worked so hard to source. Kinda wonder what the health dept thinks of this too, doesn’t seem hygienic and unless there is bleach in his h2o he’s probably asking for trouble schlepping it around the hill on his bike.