When Alex Gomberg joined the family business, he committed to making sure the fourth generation of Gomberg Seltzer Works would not be its last. The Brooklyn-based seltzer manufacturer had suffered the loss of a lifestyle, as seltzer delivery (and in many homes, seltzer itself) faded into history books. Although their factory in Canarsie still supports a handful of octogenarian “seltzer men” and their delivery routes, Gomberg is establishing a new business model for a product so old-fashioned that the bottles used to contain it are up to a century old.
Re-branding his operation as the Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, Gomberg now delivers seltzer as a specialty drink for restaurants, bars and events throughout New York. One of his leading tactics for getting people excited is to serve them a perfect egg cream. That classic Brooklyn drink — made from milk, Fox’s U-bet chocolate syrup and “the best seltzer you can find” — has won Gomberg awards. Yet the real prize he’s looking for is the moment that customers realize that they’re tasting a piece of Brooklyn history.
James Boo is the director of the 1 Minute Meal: “U-bet the Farm” video.