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Lancashire Dog-treat Company Sniffs Out Tasty £50K Investment | Vanity Fur Magazine
Lancashire dog-treat company sniffs out tasty £50K investment

Lancashire entrepreneur, Gemma Connolly, who’s created a unique brand of edible greeting cards for dogs, Scoff Paper, has secured major backing from BBC Dragons’ Den’s Sara Davies to allow her business to take full advantage of the growing pet treat market. 

Volunteer guide dog puppy raiser, Gemma, who appeared on the show on the 15th of February alongside Leo, a young golden retriever, won Sara over with her clever idea and the tenacity she’s maintained in building her business from the ground up, which involved the development of never-before-seen manufacturing processes and machinery.

Lancashire dog-treat company sniffs out tasty £50K investment | Vanity Fur Magazine

As such, the famous businesswoman, known for her ability to spot big business potential, offered Gemma £50K for 25% of the company, with the option to claim 5% back if Sara recoups her investment within the first 12 months of their collaboration. With Sara’s expert eye and rich retail experience, Gemma, plans to make her world-first product accessible across the UK and internationally in the near future.

Lancashire dog-treat company sniffs out tasty £50K investment | Vanity Fur MagazineGemma comments: “I’m not good at blowing my own trumpet, but I gave it everything I had when I went into The Den and was proud of my presentation and my responses to the Dragons’ subsequent grilling. It probably helped that I had Leo by my side. 

“When Sara said she believed in me and my vision, it meant so much. I’m over the moon that she chose to invest in my little company that’s got its eye on global domination. After all, is there a dog on this planet that doesn’t love a tasty treat? With Sara’s know-how and support, I can put 100% of my time and focus into our business and get the bespoke manufacturing facility running at maximum capacity.” 

Sara Davies adds: “Gemma’s belief in her fantastic product was clear from the moment she stepped into the Den. I have so much respect and admiration for the work she’s put in to grow her company to the level she has. I’m excited to work alongside Gemma to mentor her through the next exciting stage of growth as she goes on to inspire dog owners around the world to celebrate their pets’ special occasions with edible cards.” 

Scoff Paper’s HQ, AKA ‘The Scoffice’, is based in Buckshaw Village, Chorley, where all the design, marketing and manufacturing takes place. As the business grows, Gemma plans to offer more career opportunities to local people across all departments.

Watch Gemma face the business moguls on BBC iPlayer.

Lancashire dog-treat company sniffs out tasty £50K investment | Vanity Fur MagazineAbout the products

Scoff Paper products are the world’s first edible cards for dogs. They are made with potatoes and natural flavourings, contain no rawhide, and are complementary to a dog’s diet. They come in a range of tasty flavours, including bacon, cheese, chicken and peanut, as well as unflavoured. The cards are designed for a variety of occasions, such as birthdays, Christmas, get well soon, gotcha days, Valentine’s, or just to say I love you, with messages such as ‘happy birthday to chew’ and ‘for the dog who eats everything’. The cards can also be personalised.

Additionally, the company produces dog-friendly edible ink pens for writing messages in the cards.

Product packaging is made using sustainable, renewable materials. Discover more:

The Scoff Paper story: 

For the past 10 years, Gemma Connolly has volunteered for Guide Dogs charity supporting guide dog puppies and helping to socialise them in readiness for their next phase of training.

Gemma began volunteering for Guide Dogs after suffering a major heart attack whilst working in a very stressful job. Volunteering for Guide Dogs helped to rehabilitate her and has led to supporting 16 dogs so far.

She usually has the dogs from around eight weeks to 15 months, and, like many dog lovers, likes to celebrate their birthdays, ‘gotcha’ days and other occasions.

Gemma came up with the idea for Scoff Paper in March 2020 when one of the guide dog puppies, Loki, tried to eat a greeting card that she had bought to celebrate his birthday.

This coincided with a period of employment dissatisfaction and health worries for naturally creative Gemma, so she decided to go for it. Gemma created the first range of edible card prototypes at her kitchen table when she realised the manufacturing capabilities for this type of product did not currently exist. After numerous calls and visits to local pet shops, she received her first order for 48 cards, which she produced by hand.

Fast forward three years, and after working two jobs and ploughing every single penny into the business, Gemma is proud to see her Scoff Paper cards on display at many major UK retailers, including John Lewis, Pets at Home, Pets Corner and hundreds of independent pet retailers. The products are now produced by bespoke machinery at Scoff Paper’s manufacturing facility in Buckshaw Village. The facility is capable of producing 2m cards per year.


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