FROM humble beginnings growing rosemary, a Balmoral business has now expanded into a whole new product market.
Anita Watt started Glenel River Herbs in 2000.
For the first 10 years, the company grew fresh rosemary and sold it to supermarkets.
“We decided in 2012, that we needed to diversify and we choice to move into more Mediterranean herbs such as sage, oregano and thyme,” Ms Watt said.
“However, being so far from the metropolitan areas, we had difficulties with freight and the timelines between picking the herbs and getting them to supermarkets was a few days.”
Glenelg River Herbs then moved into drying herbs.
Ms Watt said the business supplied herbs to Mount Zero olives and to the burger chain Grill’d.
However, Ms Watt said she decided the business needed to diversify more because the big supermarkets mostly wanted fresh herbs and it was becoming difficult to make a profit margin.
“We bought a still so we could distill our own rosemary oil, sage oil and oregano,” she said.
“Rosemary oil is really good for memory, and sage oil is great for anxiety, so we developed a brand new product, called The Memory Stick.”
Ms Watt said The Memory Stick was 100 per cent natural and Australian made.
“It’s a super handy, roll-on bottle packed with rosemary and sage essential oil, with grapeseed oil as the carrier for safe application,” she said.
“It’s perfect for students – they can roll it on their wrist, back of their hand or under their nose and inhale when studying to increase alertness and focus.
“Rosemary and sage essential oils have long and well-documented histories as memory enhancing herbs.”
Ms Watt said the product was distilled from rosemary and sage out of her own paddock.
“There is nothing added to it at all,” she said.
Ms Watt said when she first started Glenelg River Herbs, she never thought she would be selling a product like The Memory Stick.
“It’s a whole new world for us – we are growers of herbs,” she said.
“It’s been the steepest learning curve.
“When we first started we just imagined we would be mostly drying herbs, but we always thought about making essential oils.
“People also have a lot more interest now in buying Australian products.”
Ms Watt said The Memory Stick was available in 25 stores.
She said Wimmera residents could buy it online at thememorystick.com.au or glenelgriverherbs.com.au.