Monday, March 22, 2010

Pa'Treats

It's been close to two years now since I first started thinking about starting a home based dog treat bakery business. Many things have diverted me, including having the kitchen remodeled, but the biggest factor has been that I over analyze and complicate things to the point where I end up getting so overwhelmed that I just give up. I need to learn to just jump in and go for it. I saw a picture on a magazine recently of some donuts that made me start thinking about this again since one of the products I wanted to do was a doggie donut (all healthy ingredients, of course). The Super Pet Expo was in town over the weekend and I went to check out the competition...and there was only 1 booth dedicated to homemade treats and another 2 had a few treats as well as other things. I joined in a conversation that the dedicated place was having with a couple men because they were talking about the new rules Virginia has put in place regarding pet food. I knew about this since I have researched just about everything I can think of. Each product has to be registered with the agriculture department and there is a fee of $60 per product. Each product also has to be tested for nutritional content and there are labeling requirements as well (per the FDA). The guy said that two years ago before these rules were made that there were 15 vendors like his, and now only three. I saw this as a huge opportunity! $60 here and there is not going to scare me away. I know many people got into this business because it was cheap to start. Now, not so much. Between all this and the poor economy there seems to be a lot fewer on the internet. The agriculture fee is something that needs to be checked in every state so if they all enact this, it could become very costly, but that will mostly just force me to keep my product selection smaller...which is a good idea for me anyway since my large number of product ideas just complicates things even more. The point of all this is I'm getting ready to do this. I need to start baking some serious amounts of treats. I was a total lurker at the pet expo watching people to see what they liked and didn't and was taking mental notes on how I would set up my booth. My goal is for this to be an internet business, but I would use shows like this to get the name out there. Let me know who has a dog that wants to be a taste tester!

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

I have a couple friends with dogs... one who would eat anything and another who is picky. If you need guinea pigs, I'd be happy to give them to their dogs and see what happens :) Congrats on the great business venture! It sounds like it would be fun, actually!

Patrice said...

I need those picky dogs! I used to have a co-worker with a picky dog, but she doesn't work here anymore so I'm in need of new taste testers. My brothers dog will even eat used tissues...