To celebrate our 4th birthday, we share with you our journey from the very beginning. We hope you enjoy...
Our story began way back in 2011 on our first day at the University of Hertfordshire. Jacquelyn and Lauren met whilst waiting for the bus, before meeting Chloe on campus. Between us we studied Business, Event Management and Marketing and it's safe to say, we never really strayed too far from each other!
During our second year of studies, we were asked to come up with a business idea and it was here that Chloe shared her idea of what would soon become known as PawBakes. We often get asked where the idea came from, so here is a little background info.
Whilst studying, Chloe had a part time job at a shopping centre - after work she would pop to the local pet shop to buy her Samoyed, Tia some delicious homemade treats. Chloe has always loved to bake and one day the idea just came to her.
"Wouldn't it be great if you could bake simple, healthy, homemade treats for your dog at home!"
After hearing Chloe's idea, the University suggested that she entered their business start-up competition, Flare. Looking to create the best possible team, Chloe then asked Jacquelyn and Lauren if they would like to join her - and as you may have guessed, their answer was yes!
It's funny to look back and see how things develop over time. Our original name was 'Petilicious' (we thought it was great) but we soon came to realise the importance of a company name. Something didn't feel quite right, so it was back to the drawing board, and let us tell you... this wasn't an easy task! But then we had it, 'PawBakes' - it was everything we were looking for.
With our new name, we entered the University’s Business Competition and began attending bootcamps - learning everything from writing business plans, to pitching, to understanding intellectual property and sourcing investment.
In 2013, with only prototypes and a huge amount of passion to showcase our idea, we proudly won the title of ‘Most Innovative Business Idea’. We couldn't believe it! It was then that we started to feel that this could be something special.
But before we could put our £5,000 prize money to good use, we knew we had something to finish first - our degrees. Juggling both a new start-up and working to complete our studies just wasn't possible. Before we knew it, it was 2014 and we were all super proud to be graduating with three 1st class degrees - we did it!
It was now time to get to work...
First thing was the recipes. We knew that we wanted to develop something that would taste delicious whilst also having all-natural, completely recognisable, human-grade ingredient lists. A year of trialing and testing later, we had two perfect recipes - one for biscuits and one for cupcakes.
This meant it was onto sourcing the ingredients, working out the best way for the kits to be packaged and then finding our manufacturer (which we soon learnt wasn't going to be easy!). We required the kits to be blended and packed in a human-grade factory that would also be able to handle our peanut butter powder... We tried thousands (ok maybe it wasn't thousands but it sure did feel like it) before we finally found our wonderful manufacturer! We could now start to feel our idea coming to life.
It was then onto branding - an area that we loved being so involved with. It was important that we found a designer that completely understood our idea and was able to channel this into our design. We met with lots of different designers, until we found the one for us. We really enjoyed the whole process, from tweaking the colour shades, to deciding the fonts, the logo and images that would soon become such a huge part of our branding. We loved watching this all come together and seeing the final boxes for the first time!
Our award-winning doggie baking kits launched in March 2016 at our first dog show in Suffolk. As we celebrate our 4th birthday, we have grown our brand, the retailers that stock us, the countries that we supply and the products that we offer... and we still get to work together as 3 friends. We are so proud of PawBakes. The best thing? Watching you all grab your mixing bowls to get baking!