Holistic doggie treats will lead to €120,000 turnover
When Barbara Hanly started selling dog treats on a market stand in Marlay Park in Rathfarnham a couple of years ago, little did she know that she would soon be selling those snacks in about 50 shops across Ireland and Britain.
Hanly, who had worked as a dog groomer, decided to set up a business making fruit and vegetable dog treats – known as Soopa chews – after becoming concerned at the number of pets that were overweight.
"When I worked as a dog groomer, I was shocked to see so many dogs suffering from illnesses such as obesity, chronic itching and skin allergies," said Hanly.
"Most dogs don't digest grains or wheat very well. With a lot of commercial pet treats, the fat content isn't largely available – so people don't realise there's a large amount of fat in them."
Hanly wanted to offer dog owners a treat which they could give to their dogs without feeling guilty about it.
"After many weeks,and much trial and error, I came up with the Soopa chew."
Hanly said she'd would love to offer Soopa treats for cats in the future.
"The au-natural and holistic side of pet foods is a huge growing market," she said.
Soopa Pets, which was set up in May 2012, is already on track to make a turnover of €120,000 next year.