North Derbyshire natural dog treat business celebrates success of first year thanks to cute Cockapoo mascot

A natural doggy treat business which was set up in North Derbyshire over lockdown has celebrated the success of their first year thanks to the help of their cute Cockapoo mascot.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 4:41 pm
Updated Monday, 21st June 2021, 4:43 pm

Owner Ben Haye was inspired to establish Natural Doggy Treats from his parents’ garage and his former bedroom in Hillstown, Bolsover in June 2020 – just a few months after he’d got Dudley, a ginger Cockapoo puppy.

The 33-year-old who lives in Clowne, moved back to North Derbyshire in April last year following a five-year stay in Australia where he initially went as a backpacker across and then stayed after he took up a job in technology sales.

Despite his transfer to a UK company to work as a sales agent, two weeks after collecting his canine companion and identifying a gap in the market for completely natural dog treats – Ben set up a subscription-based website and started sourcing and delivering treat boxes locally.

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Ben provides updates about the business and Dudley through their Facebook page.
Ben provides updates about the business and Dudley through their Facebook page.

Ben added: "A gut feeling said 'look your time is done [in Australia] come home, something positive and good is going to happen'.

"Then within the space of getting Dudley, within two weeks, this snowball effect of picking up the dog and learning about natural treats and meeting the suppliers.

"He has very much guided the whole process.”

He swapped his career in sales to focus on Natural Doggy Treats full-time in June, along with his mum Hazel Haye and now has welcomed new-team member Sam to run the company’s social media and even his grandma who helps package orders from his old bedsit.

The pair do everything together.

The business which is the top-rated animal feed shop in the UK on Trust Pilot, has now turned over £500,000 in revenue just 12 months after it was first established.

Natural Doggy Treats specialises in food boxes filled with genuine meat-off cuts for canines – consisting of rabbit ears, pig snouts, cow hooves, deer legs, chicken feet, bull horns and natural sausages.

"With it being my first time as a dog owner it is a bit of a struggle feeding them the right food - or what you think the right food is”, Ben said.

"And often the stuff you find in Tesco is filled with derivatives and not what it says on the packet, it is very vague.

Natural Doggy Treats specialises in delivery boxes of meat off-cuts such as pig snouts, deer legs and cow hooves.

"We walked into a pet shop and I could see all these natural treats – I asked the pet shop owner what he did with them and he said he used them to round up people's orders.

"I went away, built a subscription based website and quit my job after a week and it's just gone from strength to strength.”

The 19-month Cockapoo has garnered a loyal following on social media with 3,500 people liking the ‘Dudley’s Daily Digest’ Facebook page where the team upload videos, updates and pictures about the cuddly canine and his family.

Ben also uses the page get feedback on customers about new ideas.

The Cockapoo pictured helping to pack orders from Ben's parents garage.

He commented: "It started off with me dropping treats off in brown paper bags and now we are kind of turning over 100 boxes a day and we have got over 600 subscribers.

"It's grown really rapidly.”

The business, which also sponsors three football teams in Clay Cross, Hasland and Bolsover, is now selling their products on Amazon along with a wholesale website.

The 19-month Cockapoo, who also acts as the business mascot, travels around with Ben delivering natural doggy treats.

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The 33-year-old was inspired to set up the business after he started researching the ingredients in dog food after he got Dudley last year.
Ben Haye, from Clowne, set up the natural dog treat company after he got Dudley last year.