The massive Cottonwood Springs bottling facility in Dunnstown is up and running, and there are already plans to ramp up production.
Construction on the spring water bottling plant and warehouse was completed through the pandemic last year, with commissioning completed in March.
The first products began rolling off the production line at the end of March, according to Slade Beverages managing director George Tan.
"It was a great moment to share with the team," he said.
"It has been very successful, everything came in on schedule and on-time."
While the initial focus is on spring water in recyclable paper packaging - using water drawn from volcanic rocks beneath Mount Warrenheip - the focus will soon turn to non-dairy milks like oat and almond milk.
Mr Tan said there were local oat growers and processors nearby who were keen to help out with a distinctly Ballarat product.
"With us coming from a spring water background, knowing we have good water quality, this line can do spring water products," he said.
"We're exploring a lot of great partnerships with existing brands in the market, and trying to help them to innovate their products - a lot of these milks are imported, and there just isn't enough innovation happening, so we've been doing a lot of research and development into oat milk so we can compete with the larger brands that are coming from Europe or America."
More investment will go into perfecting the extraction process, then when the product's ready, the plant is expected to bring in more production lines, which could lead to dozens more jobs.
"The retailers are excited, I think with the relationships in China and exports being very tough - we want to push the Australian story, and hopefully that will translate into more sales through export and demand for Australian products," Mr Tain said.
"I think a lot of dairy drinkers are tuning into non-dairy in a lot of parts of the world, and Australian dairy has always been at the forefront of the world milk industry, so I think we should do the same with plant-based as well.
"Upstream and downstream, it'll all be made locally.
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"The last year's been tough on everyone, and we weren't sure where the market's going, we've invested quite heavily in the business, but I think we've been proven right, consumers are generally heading towards that trend."
The historic Dunnstown site has previously been used as a brewery and gin distillery - the first business, Greens Distillery, opened during the gold rush in the 1850s.
The new building is carbon-neutral, and is powered by a solar array on the roof.
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