In 2011, Ceri Phillips started her business – From The Barkery (FTB) – a luxury pet brand, that produces and designs, all things for dogs and cats. They specialise in manufacturing CBD products for their furry friends, plus they also have a pedigree twist on all human baked treats – including personalised treats, biscuits, cakes and pup cakes. On their accessories side, there are waterproof blankets and PH balanced doggy shampoo bars. Everything they do is pure luxury, aimed especially at the furry guys in our lives.
Ceri and her husband owned restaurants and would always take their two black labs, Barkley and Bentley to work with them. They found that customers would also often bring their dogs with them so Ceri decided they needed a ‘Four Paws’ menu to accommodate the furries. And that’s how the business began.
She wanted the treats to be healthy, wholesome, with no nasties, plus have that little something extraordinary. They make their treats with their own doggy friendly tapioca frosting and the personalisation of the doggies names (or a fun word like woof, spoilt or yum) was the pizazz they needed. As popularity grew for the treats, they progressed into making holiday treats and gift hampers too. The business needed a name, so after much thought ‘From The Barkery’ seemed a great choice.
Their CBD range came after their beloved Bentley became sick with a very aggressive lung tumor and was given a couple of weeks to live. Not wanting to give up on him, Ceri had heard of the benefits of cannabis oil and approached the vet about giving it to him, to make his last days more comfortable. She agreed it was a good idea and without wasting a single hour, she bought and gave him his first dose. Naturally, she was nervous about giving it to him, but she immediately saw the benefit. He had a new lease of life. After seeing this, almost miraculous result, she thought, why not make it into a biscuit? Ceri says that it’s much easier to give it to dogs that way, so that’s how their research and development began into CBD biscuits. Their CBD range has grown immensly since those first few months.
What Ceri loves most about running her business is the love and care they put into everything they do. They hand make and taste everything themselves to ensure that what goes into their products is the best, human grade produce one can buy.
She loves her company, is proud of what it has become, and is especially proud that they are able to help dogs and cats feel better, have pawsome pawties and yummy treats. She says that it makes all the difference to her to know that people care for their animals and want the best for them. It also makes her day when clients send her emails, pictures and videos of their dogs at birthday pawties, with all their FTB goodies. What makes it all worthwhile to Ceri is hearing how much her clients love their products and service.
One of the biggest lessons she has learnt on her business journey is to have patience. She does what she does because it makes her happy and she focuses on what’s important to always keep the business at its best. She says, “Customer satisfaction is key and if they are happy (furries and pawrents) then that’s the number one thing for perseverance.” She also likes to focus on changing trends and continues to have fun with new and exciting recipes. Ceri believes, “Where there’s a passion, there can be success.”
She says that small businesses are generally owned and operated by your neighbours and play an important role in supporting the local communities. She believes that this creates local employment which should offer a smaller carbon footprint too. By showing continued support, smaller businesses, like From The Barkery are able to maintain jobs plus you’ll be dealing with passionate people who only wish the best for their business and customers.
From The Barkery is a proud member of the NSBC. When asked about her experience as a member she said, “NSBC has played a crucial part in guiding me with my business. The articles are informative, engaging and offer great support, especially for small businesses like mine. There is a wealth of information available for when you need it most and this has certainly proved to be a valuable asset for me, with my business and it’s day to day running. I’m very proud to be a member and grateful to have access to NSBC and all its knowledge base.”
If you would like more information about becoming an NSBC Member visit www.nsbc.africa.