- What inspired you to start Scrumbles?
I’ve always been passionate about food and I was convinced I wanted to create my own food brand, but fell into the world of pet food when we rescued our kitty Boo. She had a hard start to life with a lot of upset tums and awful events in the litter tray. Our vet prescribed a probiotic paste which made such a difference, she was healthier and visibly happier too. I learnt that she wasn’t alone, cats, dogs and their pet parents across the country were dealing with similar digestive issues, and this lead me down the route of gut health focused pet food.
- Can you tell us a little more about your products and what makes them so different from everything else out there?
There are lots of good options out there and fundamentally what’s most important is that your cat or doggy enjoys their food and that it works for them. At Scrumbles we know good health starts in the gut so we put it at the centre of everything we do. That means our recipes are simple & natural but also include gut friendly ingredients like slippery elm. At the same time, we take great care to make our food and grow our business sustainably. So that mean responsible sourcing, minimising our impact and striving for a positive impact on our community. We’re proud to be part of the BCorp community and we donate 1% of every sale to environmental causes.
- What are your business' core values?
Our two fundamental principles are to help pet parents understand good health starts in the gut and to make good food that doesn’t cost the earth. These two values guide everything we do.
- What challenges have you faced since starting Scrumbles, if any?
Early on we had a few legal issues that we hadn’t prepared for with trademarks and bigger pet food companies. It was terrifying at the time but we quickly learnt when to pick your battles and when to roll over ha-ha! We’ve had to change plans, designs and even our brand name along the way but I wouldn’t change anything…well maybe having more hours in the day for more sleep!
- Did you receive any good advice before starting your entrepreneurial journey and do you have any advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business?
“It’s never as bad as you think it is" is a great piece of advice that helped me. There were lots of challenges we faced along the way and low points I thought everything would crumble but putting things into perspective helped and thinking how it could be much worse kept me going! I’d pass on that advice for sure and also to put yourself out there and meet your customers. We went to lots of cat and dog shows and spoke with many people who are now our customers, understanding more about the challenges they faced with their furballs and working out how we could help overcome them. Our customers always feed into our new products.
- What future plans do you have for Scrumbles?
I’d like to shake up the industry to do better and the bigger we get the more influence we hold. You notice when other brands copy what you’re doing and for the most part we’re happy about that as it gives more noise to what we’re doing and drives the bigger guys to make positive changes.
- How do you switch off and relax to recharge your batteries? Any tips?
I found it really hard to switch off at the beginning. Everything was Scrumbles and I constantly felt guilty if anything else entered my mind. That wasn’t healthy. I’m definitely not perfect but I’m finding a balance to have other challenges to work on. I’m getting involved in my community, enjoying playing puzzles and video games in the evenings and of course going for nice long weekend walkies with Smudge. Having Smudge come to work every day is a dream – if I feel stressed, I have a mini play with, and look forward to lunch time walkies every day. I would most likely eat in front of the laptop if she wasn’t around.