Want to get your dog treats into retail stores? The owner of Coastal K-9 Bakery offers some words of advice. Her dog was the inspiration behind this thriving dog bakery business because he suffered from food allergies.
Owner: Jackie Oakes
Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Poor Tippy! The English Springer Spaniel suffered from allergies. But from what? His owner, Jackie, decided to bake wheat free dog treats for him and…he got better! She knew she was on to something because there were other dogs who had undiagnosed food allergies who could benefit as well.
So Jackie opened Coastal K-9 Bakery in November 2004 and chose the name due to its location on the coast of North Carolina. Her dog treats are named Tippy’s Treats after the dog who started it all!
Beginning as a retail store, she advertised locally, donated to community-based animal causes and organizations, and became involved with two no-kill animal shelters.
The business does wholesale baking primarily. Jackie says, “I realized wholesale was becoming a large part of my sales. I began attending pet trade shows and marketing to pet shops, other bakeries, and businesses. By calling businesses and making personal visits my visibility has increased greatly.”
Her hard work paid off because Tippy’s Treats are now available in Whole Foods Markets and local grocery chains! They come in eight flavors, and are mostly wheat, corn and soy free, the common allergy producing flours for dogs.
“My Yappy Birthday cakes are a bit hit. I use Fido’s Frosting to create beautiful and fun-loving cakes and muffins in a small, medium and large size. We have an extensive inventory of birthday supplies to complement our cakes and muffins.”
We asked Jackie if she had any advice for dog treat businesses wanting to place their treats in retail stores.
Here is her advice:
- First, you MUST be passionate about your product. If you aren’t sold on it, the retail store will not be sold.
- Be selective of the retail stores where you want your product.
- It is very helpful for your company to have a “track record” of acceptance in the community as it is very hard to have a store accept a product that has only been produced for a few months or a year.
- Should the retail store not accept your product, ask the reason it was not accepted. If there are problems, address and correct any problems.
- Don’t be afraid to contact the retail store more than once if your product was not accepted. Many times the retail store is in the process of rearranging a store section or waiting for some products to sell out before adding new products.
- It is important to make a personal appearance to the store manager or buyer. Call ahead to make an appointment, be punctual, be knowledgeable of the store, and be ready to explain the benefits of the store having your product in their inventory.
Tippy lived a better life, and will never be forgotten. Jackie has two rescues living with her now. She says, “It is so rewarding to be a part of the pet industry. I have met so many wonderful people and have discovered so many products that are beneficial to our pets. You also create a bond with your customers as they know that you are doing something that is helping their pet and educates them as well.”
Be sure to look for Tippy’s Treats in your local market. Visit Coastal K-9 Bakery online!
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Visit K9Cakery.com for dog bakery supplies and the award-winning Fido’s Frosting, the first all-natural, sugar-free, yogurt dog treat frosting and icing that does not melt!