A keen baker who began making handmade biscuits for her dog while living in Africa is now selling her treats in 30 shops throughout the UK and is investing in new machinery to cope with demand.
Jill Reid came up with the handmade, natural biscuits while living in Angola with her husband Alan after struggling to find healthy and quality snacks for her adopted dog Kelso.
Upon returning to Scotland and settling in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Jill decided to set up Kelso and Titch, developing a range of biscuits and snacks including popcorn, sausages and jerky for dogs.
With support from Business Gateway, Kelso and Titch is now stocked in 30 shops throughout the country as well as being available online via the company website, Etsy and Not On The High Street.
Jill said: “The response has been amazing. After developing the recipe I knew it was good as my dog and then my friends’ dogs all loved the biscuits. That gave me the confidence to set up the business when we came home and in just three years we’ve gone from selling at the local school fair to having stockists across Scotland, in England and online. Now, we’re a team of three and we’re looking to grow even further by investing in new equipment that will speed up production, allow us to take on more stockists and increase our range.
“As well as attending Business Gateway events, including Women Into Business, I’ve also received tailored one-to-one support and my adviser has connected me to possible funding opportunities that will allow us to buy the machinery we need to expand.”
Jill, who worked as a graphic designer for ten years before moving to Africa for her husband’s job, decided to use her company name to pay homage to her two favourite pooches. Kelso, adopted in Angola and who still lives with the family in Alloa and Titch, Jill and Alan’s dog in Libya who also made the journey to Scotland but sadly died not long after.
Jill added: “Our products aren’t mass produced and are handmade using natural, human grade ingredients, with no added salt, sugar or artificial colours and flavours. Kelso acts as our chief taster and quality control manager, a job that I can safely say she loves.”
Alison Davidson of Business Gateway said: “Jill has accessed a range of our support services, including our very successful Women Into Business programme. Now, we are focusing on offering Jill strategic help that will allow her to increase production and ultimately grow Kelso and Titch in a confident and effective manner.”