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Story #31Refresh GlassPhoenix, AZ

I want to have a life, I don’t want to just have a profession. The community involvement is really important to me.

With the mind of an engineer and the soul of an artist, Ray DelMuro had a good degree, good job, and a nice place– everything he thought he wanted. After years of working as an engineer in the automotive and aerospace industries, though, DelMuro wanted more.

After quitting his job, spending his savings, and traveling across 21 countries, he set out to combine his passions for design and functionality to create products from recycled wine bottles. Ray ordered a wine bottle glass cutting kit and his engineer brain thought, “There’s got to be a better way.” He developed a custom machine that not only cuts bottles more efficiently, but can also handle a wider range of sizes and shapes. Refresh Glass was born.

At first, Ray created the glasses because he and his friends enjoyed them. Eventually he expanded to farmer’s markets and art fairs. Ray collected all of the bottles himself and worked out of a one car garage. Seven years later, he has expanded his business and now employs eight people. Refresh Glass products are carried in major restaurant chains, like Wolfgang Puck and Four Seasons, and well-known, high-end restaurants, like Husk in Charleston, SC.

Similar to their products, Refresh Glass’ approach to growth is focused on community. Ray earned his first restaurant client, Pig & Pickle, by simply engaging with their staff when he would visit to pick up empty bottles. A few beers and years later, they are still one of his best customers.

As the business education chair for the local Conscious Capitalism group, Ray’s approach to Refresh Glass embraces both the horsepower of a corporation and the heart of a charity. Ray firmly believes it is crucial for businesses to not only be competitive, but also support members of their community.

To date, Refresh Glass has rescued over 600,000 bottles. The ultimate goal for the company is to recreate their model in other parts of the country and eventually help divert 10 million bottles from landfills. Ray’s ultimate goal? To simply keep creating functional art for the rest of his life.

Photos by Nadav Neuhaus

  • The Pig and Pickle was Refresh Glass' first restaurant client. They now are carried at a number of high-end restaurants, from the Four Seasons to Husk in Charleston, SC.

  • Refresh Glass owner Ray DelMuro approaches business from a conscious capitalist perspective-- combining the horsepower of a corporation with the heart of a charity. His company has rescued 600,000 wine bottles from landfills and hopes to eventually save 10 million bottles.

  • A self-proclaimed "recovering engineer", Ray DelMuro founded Refresh Glass as a way to combine his love for functionality with art.

  • The finished product from Refresh Glass at local restaurant, the Pig and Pickle.

  • Ray DelMuro founded Refresh Glass in 2008 and handled every aspect of the business-- from production to sales. He now employs 8 people that assist with repetitive, day-to-day tasks so he can focus on higher level projects like new designs and company growth.

  • The glassware from Refresh Glass must undergo processing in a kiln. Their current products range from glasses and vases to candle holders.

  • Refresh Glass sorts corks and twist-off bottle caps to resell them.

  • Before the bottles can be turned into new pieces, they must first be cleaned and removed of all labels.

  • Refresh Glass cleans wine bottles before processing. Their team diverts 20,000 wine bottles from the landfill every month.

  • Refresh Glass employee Matt Jones moving boxes at their processing office in Phoenix, Arizona.

Business Details

Proprietor: Ray DelMuro
Phoenix, AZ
PH: 480-223-2410 / Website
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