Brylie Rankine knew she was onto something early on. Working in front-of-house café jobs in Daylesford’s busy hospitality sector, she was repeatedly asked by customers for local mineral water.
“All I could offer them was Italian mineral water, shipped in from thousands of kilometres away, it seemed crazy that the Mineral Springs capital of Australia wasn’t bottling their own” Brylie recalls.
Fast forward 13 years and Brylie is the head bosslady of one of Victoria’s most recognised drink brands. Daylesford and Hepburn Mineral Springs Co. started in September 2006 with high hopes, and little more than a credit card with a $5000 limit, and is now served in some of the most celebrated restaurants in Australia.
The early days were challenging; Brylie would place her daughter in childcare and race down the highway to Melbourne with bottles of mineral water in the boot of the car. She’d pick a popular café strip like Brunswick Street - and sell direct to cafés and restaurants, then zoom back in time for pick up.
The hard yards were worth it. Such was the popularity of this local mineral water that many of Brylie’s very first clients are still placing orders today.
DHMSCo. were one of the very first bottlers of Australian mineral water and its nutrient-rich mineral properties are well known; people have been coming to the region to ‘take the waters’ for generations.
It is reported that the early Swiss Italians in the area protected the springs from mining in the gold rush days, as this water resource was seen as more precious than gold. Brylie gives back to the town that has supported her business and young family by sponsoring community events and keeping it all as local as possible. The company employs a local team and distributes from Daylesford, even though it would be more economically savvy to despatch from Melbourne. Her passion for the region is integral to the brand.
As well as celebrating the local love by sponsoring home-grown events including Daylesford’s popular ChillOut Festival and Words in Winter, this year the company is strutting its stuff on the big stage – having collaborated with Heidi Museum of Modern Art as part of Melbourne Fashion Week, and being served at Australia’s largest International Women’s Day event: Business Chicks. Our local drop is soon to be seen sparkling once again at the Melbourne International Arts Festival.
The brand now boasts five ranges: their signature sparkling mineral water, still spring water, a popular certified organic range, natural flavoured mineral water range and natural juices.
With the current global focus on health and wellbeing, the most recent addition to the drinks fridge is their own delicious 42-day brew, certified organic kombucha and there are exciting new products currently in development at Mineral Springs HQ.
DHMSCo. products can now be found in fridges all around Australia. This refreshing local drop is loved by everyone, from hipsters perched on milk crates in hidden laneway haunts to CEOs sitting at crisp white linen tables at award-winning restaurants.
Image: Hepburn Mineral Springs. Victorian Railways Collection, ca. 1945.