A Sunshine Coast-based business is celebrating sweet success as it prepares to offer a real treat for dogs and their owners this International Dog Day.
Huds and Toke are forging the way in pet food innovation, manufacturing gourmet dog and horse treats and teaming up with Krispy Kreme to create a range of dog-friendly treats that replicate some of the world’s favourite donut flavours.
Coolum’s Emma Gibbons (pictured) first began manufacturing pet-friendly biscuits eight years ago after she noticed a gap in the market.
“When we started people were still buying pig’s ears as treats for dogs,” she says.
“We were working in the wholesale of dried meat products for animals across Australia and I saw a massive gap in the industry. We wanted to give our dog a birthday cake and there was nothing really out there so we had a look into what we could get into manufacturing and came up with a few recipe ideas.”
Wanting to create something that was delicious and healthy for dogs, Ms Gibbons also wanted to “Australia-proof” the product, making it suitable to be transported across the country in hot and damp conditions, and to export overseas.
Huds and Toke came up with a preservative-free recipe low in fat and sugar and manufacture its products using a unique drying technique.
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“They are an all-natural nut-based biscuit the dog can enjoy chewing for a while. Dogs love that peanut butter flavour and that allows us to be appealing across a broad range of dogs; they generally can’t resist it.”
Employing 10 women locally, Huds and Toke currently export to Japan and Singapore, with products then distributed across the Asia-Pacific. Ms Gibbons says the company is also looking to launch into the US market.
Ms Gibbons has been recognised locally for her efforts, winning the micro category of the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network awards in 2014 and being nominated again in 2019 in the corporate category.
Huds and Toke’s limited edition doggie donut collaboration with Krispy Kreme is available in the lead-up to International Dog Day on August 26.