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BKON Adds Former Franke Engineer Itamar Loss as VP of R&D

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BKON Vice President of R&D Itamar Loss. All images courtesy of BKON.

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BKON Vice President of R&D Itamar Loss. All images courtesy of BKON.

New Jersery-based cold brew manufacturing company BKON has announced the appointment of longtime Franke Beverage Equipment engineer and equipment developer Itamar Loss as vice president of research and development (R&D).

BKON said that Loss previously spent years working in coordination with BKON CEO Dean Vastardis on the the commercial development of the single-cup BKON Craft Brewer and associated Craft Cloud platform during his time at Franke.

Loss spent the better part of the 2010s at Franke in North America, most recently serving as global engineering manager after occupying various engineering roles at Whirpool in the decade prior.

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Two BKON Storm industrial brewers at the company’s production facility outside Philadelphia, in Moorestown, New Jersey. Courtesy photo.

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Two BKON Storm industrial brewers at the company’s production facility outside Philadelphia, in Moorestown, New Jersey. Courtesy photo.

BKON is currently developing the next generation of its industrial cold brew production system called the BKON Storm, the Storm XL. The system incorporates BKON’s proprietary “reverse atmospheric infusion” process, called RAIN, which the company unveiled in 2017.

Founded by brothers Dean and Lou Vastartis, BKON burst onto the specialty coffee scene with the introduction single-cup Craft Brewer in 2014. The company has since evolved through numerous funding rounds to focus on industrial-scale brewing for branded partnerships and private-label accounts.


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BKON said Loss will assist in the continued development of the Storm XL system while accelerating the commercialization of teas, waters and other non-coffee beverages through industrial applications.

While adding Loss, BKON has also named Ron Contaxis as vice president of sales. Contaxis has previously held executive sales positions for coffee equipment companies Fetco and Wilbur Curtis.

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BKON Vice President of Sales Ron Contaxis.

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BKON Vice President of Sales Ron Contaxis.

“We are evolving our team as BKON continues its growth trajectory,” Dean Vastardis said in an announcement from the company. “Our vision is to be the global leader in natural ingredient extraction and beverage innovation. This team evolution allows us to grow existing programs and advance BKON’s aspirations for new beverage category industrial scale production for our brand partners.”

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