Dicalcium phosphate, ferrous sulfate, sodium metabisulfite, are just some of the ingredients listed on a popular dog treat found at Giant. Even if you move to the high-end “natural” brands you run into L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate and mixed tocopherols used as a vitamin supplement and preservative, respectively. Perhaps not a problem for most pups but when you have a sensitive canine knowing what they are consuming can be critical.
“A ton of dog foods and treats have so many ingredients in them it was hard to decipher what exactly our dog Loki was allergic to and what some of those ingredients were,” said West Chester resident Ashley Quin who turned her German Australian Shepherd’s indigestion issues into a small business opportunity. “I had to stop giving him dog food and treats all together and start making him grilled chicken and rice from scratch.”
All that time in the kitchen led to a revelation, what if there was a dog treat made from ingredients owners could easily identify? This is how Ashley turned an inconvenience into a second income.
Q&A with Loki Gourmet owner, Ashley Quin
Q. How exactly do you go about developing a dog-treat specifically for a dog with allergies? I wouldn’t know where to begin.
A. I wouldn’t categorize us as “anti-allergy.” It’s just that we use 10 or less high-quality, all-natural ingredients and provide transparency for those dog owners who need to be mindful of what is in the product they are feeding their pet. We also avoid common allergens such as wheat, corn and soy and our products contain no preservatives or artificial flavoring. This is a great everyday dog treat for any type of dog with great ingredients.
Q. Did you partner with a third party to develop the recipe or were you baking dog treats in your kitchen?
A. I started out baking treats in my kitchen trying different recipes on YouTube or playing around with my own to learn. I then had two kiddos so baking and running the company seemed almost impossible while raising kids. So we now have them manufactured for us and yes, we partnered with the third party for the recipes. The process is sourced and made all in the USA from start to finish.
Q. What have your experiences as a small business owner been so far?
A. You get out of it, what you put into it. Trying different ideas is key and you learn from every experience. The local community has been so supportive so far and we are looking forward to collaborating with local businesses and rescues. We rescued Loki from the Providence animal center so are definitely looking into ways to support the local rescues in Chester and Delaware counties.
Q. Where can people purchase your treats? Are they available at any local retailers?
A. We sell mainly online. We offer shipping or local pick up in West Chester. Currently you can find our product at Colonial Village market in Havertown, and we plan on linking up with a few other local retailers soon.
Thanks, Ashley for sharing your story! Want to see what other dogs think? Follow Loki’s Gourmet on Instagram. Their feed includes adorable images of satisfied customers and if you want to try the biscuits for your dog, they are running a fundraiser in support of To Love a Canine Rescue through November 21. Fifteen percent of all sales go back to the rescue
Interested in starting your own side business? Local credit union Benchmark FCU created an Ultimate Side Hustle Guide to help you get started.
New to the blog? Follow along for the latest updates from West Chester. Have a unique West Chester story? Let me know. I’d love to share!