Just one bottle of wine can make a big difference. That’s the philosophy behind Little Ripples, a small Australian wine brand delivering one year of accessible, clean water for one person in a developing country with every bottle purchased.
Little Ripples was founded in September 2019 by Dustin Leonard, who wanted to help provide easy access to clean, safe water for those who need it the most, and provide Australians with a great drop.
Dustin started Little Ripples after spending time in Africa, where he witnessed firsthand the massive issues caused by a lack of water and contaminated water sources, including disease and disruption of education. He saw women and children walking five kilometres a day to collect the only water that they had access to, which was unsafe to drink.
Back home in Australia, Dustin was inspired to make a difference and started working with Australian charity, BridgIT Water Foundation. Together, they identify the communities most in need, facilitate the construction or repair of a water well for that community, and implement a strategy to maintain and manage the well for at least 10 years.
In order to fund this project, Dustin set about following his dreams of producing wine by calling upon the expertise of winemakers John and Alex Cassegrain of Port Macquarie’s Cassegrain Wines, along with wine strategist and critic, Paul Henry. Made in Port Macquarie using grapes sourced from wineries around NSW, the result is bold, yet accessible wines, backed by a mighty purpose.
“We’ve had so much positive feedback from our customers and a lot of people on social media have told us Little Ripples is now their bottle of choice,” Dustin explains. “Doing good makes people feel good, plus they get a great bottle of wine too.”
Still not even a year old, Little Ripples has faced challenges many businesses have not experienced in decades of trading. As the bushfire crisis gripped Australia at the end of 2019, flames threatened their wine making facility in Port Macquarie. Luckily, the facility was largely unscathed, but many of Little Ripples’ partners and suppliers suffered.
The bushfire season was closely followed by COVID-19, which forced many of the bars and restaurants which stocked Little Ripples to close their doors, but Dustin quickly adapted Little Ripples’ model to put online front and centre.
“Amazon Australia launching their Wine, Beer and Spirits store in June was a great opportunity for us to get our bottles into the hands of Aussies across the country,” says Dustin. “We’ve been really pleased with the feedback from Amazon.com.au’s customers and we’re impressed with the sales.”
Little Ripples uses Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA), Amazon’s service for inventory, storage and delivery. The service has allowed the company to sell single bottles, not just cases, direct to consumers.
“Feasibly we’re not able to sell single bottles from our own site but using Fufilment By Amazon makes this very easy to do,” Dustin said. “This has really broadened our customer base as many people don’t want to commit to a case, but now they can enjoy a single bottle and still contribute to a great cause.”
Since they launched a year ago, Little Ripples purchases have already enabled the construction of four water wells in Uganda. And in the next 12 months the company is hoping sales aided by Amazon.com.au will help build another five to ensure that thousands more Africans have access to safe, fresh, clean water.
Amazon.com.au is putting small Australian businesses front and centre through their ‘Shop Local’ store in the run up to the massive shopping event, Prime Day and beyond. Head to www.Amazon.com.au/shoplocal to shop products from hundreds of Australian small businesses.