by C4Wadminon March 29, 2017in NewsComments Off on Member snapshot – Angus and Pat Wilson from Big Springs Water Member snapshot – Angus and Pat Wilson from Big Springs Water
Pat Wilson had been looking to do something off-farm for years when his cousin suggested bottling the naturally filtered spring waters found on the family property.
From this one idea, Big Springs Water now serves more than 6000 clients throughout southern and mid-western NSW and north-east Victoria.
“We had the spring water on the farm so we had it tested and it came up trumps,” Pat explains.
“We started bottling it on-farm and delivered it in my old Subaru station wagon. We’ve got 14 trucks now and moved bottling into town. We tanker the water in.”
For many years, Pat was in partnership with Greg Hanson. When Greg moved on to new ventures, Pat asked his son Angus to join the business.
“I asked him if he’d like to have a big debt and take on Greg’s chair,” he laughs.
Having completed a commerce degree at Sydney University, Angus worked in consultancy in Sydney for four years before agreeing to come back to Wagga.
Since that time, the business has started exploring new product lines, new customer channels, custom labelling and one-way bottle deliveries to outlying areas. Moving from conventional marketing platforms to concentrate on digital marketing is also part of the Big Springs Water mix.
“All in all it’s still growing and it’s a lot of fun,” Angus said.
“We’re pretty lucky that Patto and I have been in partnership for years. I’m lucky to have a father like that. Even when I was 15 or 16, he would talk about the business and the farm. So when I got home, there was nothing new, we just got to work.”
“We’ve got a shared vision and ethics,” Pat adds. “We think very much along the same lines except he’s got the modern approach, particularly in marketing, whereas I’m just the conservative historian! It’s funny: history has a habit of repeating itself so quite often Angus would come up with ideas we had tried before. Some he rejigged and we tried again but by talking to me, he could see why some things worked and some things didn’t.”
Angus attributes Big Springs Water’s success to its phenomenal team, its commitment to customer service and it’s ‘Trust local’ brand.
“We’re the only spring water producer and distributor in the Riverina and that’s got to be our niche. We took the approach that Riverina Fresh is the milk, Big Springs is the water – local jobs and growing from within.
“We’re pretty active around going to things locally. That’s why I love Committee4Wagga. At the end of the day, we don’t have to necessarily increase our customer base as long as the region’s growing. Then they’ll employ more people who are drinking more water, and do more shopping. And I think people want to have the choice to shop local.”
Father and son duo Angus and Pat Wilson share the same vision for Big Springs Water.
Pat Wilson is pictured on-farm with sons Angus and George. Big Springs Water has been in operation for 23 years.