Today we’d like to introduce you to Denise Bennett.
Denise, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In the winter of 2011, (when we were all frozen in from the mega ice storm) I was bored and thought what can I make for my dogs? I looked in the freezer and saw blueberries and wondered what could I do with them? I had wheat flour on the shelves, found a recipe and went to work. I piddled with various recipes over a few years and shared these to my neighbors. Many folks began asking for more. Eventually, summer of 2018, my friend who happens to be a vet in Dallas asked me to make them for her customers. I hesitated but went with it and created a fan base. I then decided to enter a local vendors market at the high school I work at.
The sales were great and I decided to try one more and see what happens. I also did a few pops up events in the DFW area and found out that it was a success! I then hired someone to help improve my label and they volunteered to make a website for me. I also have a friend who owns a bagel shop, Boopa’s Bagel in FTW. I asked her if I could sell Organic Barky Bites at her place and she agreed. We have been selling out weekly at Boopa’s for a year now. Sometimes, in three days (blows my mind). I have joined many pop-up groups and have been asked to join others as the word continues to spread about our amazing product.
Last December, I had a friend ask if I did CBD dog treats and I said no way. I then got very curious about it. I did a ton of research, found a product I can bake with and now we make CBD infused dog treats, honey, and fish oil. These products are gaining popularity and I am constantly making these for new and repeat customers. The feedback has been amazing! I can honestly say that this adventure is taking off with a bang and I’m doing my best to keep up. I am a full-time school teacher and can retire in 2021. I think I know that the retirement journey will take me into the full business world of organic dog treats.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have done better than I thought. I struggle with the business end of keeping up with paperwork. I have help for that now. Sometimes the baking takes up more time than I want. I have learned to manage my time better, focus on a few key recipes and try to continue to make connections. One challenge I used to really struggle with is social media. I put info and pics out on both FB & IG and get little attention. BUT, when folks visit us, they say “I saw you on social media and…” I have learned to not take social media personally…mostly.
Organic Barky Bites – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We make organic dog treats from human-grade products. I buy the ingredients from a well know organic grocery store and focus on the best ingredients possible. I have had some folks buy them for their kiddos. My kids eat them too! I am also well known in the area for the CBD goodies. My fish oil is gaining ground with the infused honey in third. I am proud to say that everything is hand made in small batches (with love) and every treat is either hand-stamped with cute words or rolled over with paws! People LOVE buying organic products for their dogs and are excited when they find us.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is when you set a goal and achieve it. Then you continue to set the bar higher. What is the next goal? How do we get there?
My criteria are how well we do at our events. I nearly sold out every time and that tells me that folks want the products. I am now having customers telling me they see me here or there and their dogs loved the treats. They want more. Word is getting out and around.
- Treats vary between $6-$20 for treats. $25 for CBD products.
- Website: www.organicbarkybites.com
- Phone: 817-475-2594
- Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: organicbarkybites
- Facebook: organicbarkybites