Rebekah: Tell me how Pawsitively Gourmet got its start.
Brad: Both myself and my wife Cherrie have culinary and food science backgrounds.
Playing around in the kitchen one day, we made some croissant-shaped treats for our own dog. On a whim we packed some up, took them to a local dog park and sold most of them in a short period of time. We then decided to sell the rest to some local independent pet stores.
A month or so later, one of the stores asked us to replicate some people bakery-type treats. We went to the drawing board and created our first line of decorated treats. With my background in marketing, having worked for both Chef America and Nestle in their C-Store and Vending Divisions, I created a prototype for the countertop bakery case.
This bakery case maximized useable space and placed the bakery cookies right at eye level at the cash registers. When we hit our first trade show the concept was very widely accepted. Pawsitively Gourmet has stayed true to our roots from the beginning to today. The independent pet store is still the largest proponent to the sales of Pawsitively Gourmet cookies.
Rebekah: There is a huge variety of treats on the website, what is your inspiration in designing them?
Brad: Inspiration comes from many places. The traditional people bakery designs are still some of the best sellers. These are simply replications.
The seasonal cookies are inspired by the current trends in both bakery and fashion. We pay attention to what is hot and what is not.
Inspiration can come from anything: a camping trip, a walk on the beach, a Colorado backwoods hike or just a walk down main street. We are always innovating.
Rebekah: Are there any new cookies in the works that we can look forward to seeing?
Brad: There are always new cookies in the works. We just launched a brand new line of farm animals. There is Mr. Moo and a pig along with other friends. We also threw the sock monkey into that mix.
Halloween and Christmas are the next two out of the gate. We introduced the Ugly Sweater Collection this year. An amazing job was done by our design team on these. We are very excited about this year’s Christmas selection.
A lot of hard work was put in to get the right mix. We just finalized 2015 Valentines, with some great new takes on some old favorites. Pay attention to Pawsitivelygourmet.com to be the first to see what we have worked hard on.
Rebekah: Dog cookies seem to be very popular among retailers. How does Pawsitively Gourmet set itself apart from the others?
Brad: Pawsitively Gourmet has a very specific mission statement. We create products and experiences that celebrate dogs. Part of the way that we stick to that mission is by sticking to our core values; superior quality and craftsmanship, honesty and integrity, creative drive and family values.
Our goal is to be the best company we can be for our employees, for our customers and for the end consumers. I feel as long as we stick to those core values that our customers will continue to support us and we will continue to support them.