Scottsdale start-up 'Go Gargle' soars

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A Scottsdale couple think they've found the solution to your sore throat. And now, it's their big idea that’s soaring.

“Go Gargle is the first ever effervescent gargle for dry and irritated throats,” said Tim O’Connor, who came up with the idea after a doctor told him to gargle with salt water for his sore throat. “I turned to my wife, who is a nurse, and I said, how much salt, how much water? And it was at that point she took this idea and said let me put something together for you, so she put together this concoction and looked me right in the eye and said go gargle.”

Sure enough, Tim found both relief and a new business overnight. A year later, Go Gargle is for sale in 300 stores in ten states. It's also patent-pending and was just named Best New Product 2014, by retailers, for the cough and cold set.

“We beat out Johnson and Johnson, Ricola, Halls and Vicks,” said O’Connor. On the market just three months, this small Scottsdale start-up has made a huge splash, initially finding success on the shelves at Bashas.

Kimber Lanning, executive director of Local First Arizona, is not surprised. “We are known for entrepreneurs out here. We just need to do a better job of embracing entrepreneurial ideas,” said Lanning. “This is a fantastic idea and there are plenty of great start-ups here we can really rally behind and get going, and then that would become our national reputation as the place to go start a new company.”

Lanning says so much of Arizona’s entrepreneurial spirit relies on Arizonans supporting each other. “When you see a big company like locally owned Bashas get behind a company like this and help them grow to the next level, it means they can scale and sell these products all over,” said Lanning. Go Gargle aims to be in 10,000 stores by year end and someday be a household name.