Greene pet food firm has real appetite for success
Next time your dog turns their nose up at dinner, look at the ingredients on the back of the pet-food tin. It was this that prompted Westmeath man Leonard Greene to set up his own pet food company, Greene Canine.
"Dogs have a fantastic sense of smell," said Greene, who owns a black Labrador called Sam and two Labrador puppies, Cyndi and Ziggy.
"When feeding my dogs, I wasn't comfortable with the ingredients in many pet-food products. Some of the products out there have a very low meat content. Wheat and starch fillers are used by some pet-food companies – a lot of dogs can't digest or tolerate wheat or starch."
When Greene lost his job as a welder in 2010, he decided the time was right to set up his own pet-food company. "I served my time as a Master Butcher when I left school," said Greene. "I could see that the pet-food industry was a phenomenal one."
Greene spent the next two years developing natural dog treats made of pure Irish beef. The treats, called 'Pure MeatSnax', have been for sale in veterinary clinics throughout the country since last January.
Greene recently started exporting his pet treats to Finland and he hopes to break into the Scandinavian market soon. "A large percentage of houses over there have a pet," said Greene. "They like their dogs and they treat them with care."
As Greene only started to sell his dog treats this year, it's early days for his business. He said 2014 and 2015 "will be all about cranking up customer numbers".
"There's absolutely huge potential for growth in the business. People here like the fact that it's an Irish product and is natural – and dogs love the taste."