About the Biz
- Company Name: The Snuggling Doodle Bakery
- Who we talked with: Ashley Conner, Owner/Baker
- Year established: 2016
- How to Find Them: www.thesnugglingdoodlebakery.com
- Socialize: Facebook
Get to know The Snuggling Doodle Bakery
After staying home for a couple of years, I knew there was something missing. I loved my days full of cuddles, cul-de-sac play, swim lessons, and meeting the school bus every afternoon, but I also knew there was potential for more.
I had no intention of going back to the workplace – my kids and I had found our groove. I tossed around ideas in my head for months but nothing seemed to make sense until I woke up one night after dreaming that I was in the kitchen baking treats for our dog, Archie. I laid in bed for hours but couldn’t sleep. I finally got up and sat at our computer until the sun came up – researching recipes, feed regulations and more.
I have always loved baking for my children – making fun, extravagant treats & cupcakes for their birthdays and school bake sales. After that night, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to combine that passion with my lifetime love for animals. The Snuggling Doodle Bakery has allowed me to do that, all while still being there for my family.
What was the inspiration behind creating The Snuggling Doodle Bakery?
After deciding that I wanted to start a dog bakery, it was obvious that it should be centered around our dog, Archie. Archie is an Aussiedoodle (Australian Shepard/Poodle) who loves to snuggle – like, REALLY snuggle. He is the sweetest, most loving dog I have ever encountered and we feel so blessed to have him as a part of our family. He is the inspiration for our bakery’s name and also excels at his role of resident taste tester.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you have faced while becoming a small business owner?
The most complicated part of starting this business has been the research involved with the legal guidelines for producing/selling animal feed products. There were many rules and regulations that I was not aware of before starting this journey. After wading through all the necessary paperwork, I feel like I have a good grasp on everything and now I’m just enjoying serving our customers and coming up with new recipes for the shop.
Shipping items, especially perishable ones, seems like it may be challenging. What advice do you have for someone who’s trying to ship a product like yours?
All of our bagged treats are dehydrated, so they have a pretty long shelf life. For our more perishable items, such as our doughnuts and brownies – we always use priority mail to ensure that those items are delivered as quickly as possible.
I do think it’s important to protect the quality of your products, even if it limits your sales. For example, I do not ship any of our cakes. I know that if someone orders a cake from us, it’s for a special occasion and I want it to be perfect for them. Since I cannot be 100% positive that their cake will arrive as I hope it would, I only offer local pick-up and delivery for that type of product.
How has social media played a role in growing your business?
Social media, specifically Facebook, has been the main marketing tool for our business so far. It has allowed us to reach so many dog owners within our community. After creating a few recipes, I first reached out to the members of Charlotte Doodle Romp (a private Facebook group for local Doodle owners) to gauge interest. They have been a great community to be a part of and many of them were willing to give our brand new business a chance – and ending up loving our treats! I’m also a part of the “Mom 2 Mom” Facebook group which includes a specific sub-group solely meant for supporting local moms who provide goods and services to our community. I am able to advertise my products to thousands of local ladies that way.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring entrepreneur, what would you say?
Do your research. Everything is easier when you have all of your ducks in a row.