Cool Friends: Sandro Roco of Sanzo

June 24, 2022

Meet Sandro, founder of Sanzo: a seltzer brand that highlights high quality Asian flavors that have long been masked by added sugar. We caught up with this Queens-born Filipino-American founder to see how Sandro started Sanzo.

How did you start your Asian-inspired seltzer brand, Sanzo?

The idea for Sanzo was born in 2018 when I was walking through a popular Asian supermarket in Manhattan’s Koreatown. I noticed that the legacy Asian beverage brands were filled with sugar, preservatives, and artificial flavors, which stood in stark contrast to the “clean” American sparkling water brands available in other retailers. My goal with Sanzo from the very beginning has been to celebrate high-quality Asian flavors without all of the bad ingredients and extra sugar. I also see it as an ongoing opportunity to bridge the cultural gap between the East and the West through authentic flavors (mango, lychee, calamansi, and yuzu) that represent over 60% of the world’s population.

What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?

My favorite part about the New York creative community is that it’s incredibly collaborative. Most people outside of New York are probably surprised to hear this because New York has a bit of a reputation for being more competitive. 

But in the communities I’m involved in, there’s a shared belief that there’s enough to go around for everyone who’s creating something truly unique, and there’s also the feeling that in a city as large as New York, we all need to support each other to get to the next level.

What's inspiring you right now?

It’s wedding season for my wife and me (we also just got married in April), and we’re also seeing the comeback of in-person gatherings. So I’ve lately become very inspired by physical spaces and interior design, and their impact on creating memories.

We’d been locked up for the last two years and so any discovery or newness was happening mostly in the comfort of our homes. As we transition back and travel picks up, I’ve learned to better appreciate the nuances of any new place I’m in.

Follow along:
Sanzo: @drinksanzo
Sandro: @alessandroroco on Instagram

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