Pets with taste drive up sales for Fylde firm

Mark Walmsley, associate director at Pierce with Managing Director of The Barking Bakery Michelle Turnbull
Mark Walmsley, associate director at Pierce with Managing Director of The Barking Bakery Michelle Turnbull

A Fylde luxury dog treats firm is celebrating after a tie up with business advice firm Pierce helped business soar.

The Barking Bakery of Wesham has grown its staff numbers to 10 after seeing orders rocket.

The pet bakery, which has supplied treats into Crufts, is the brainchild of Michelle Turnbull, who pitched her idea to Pets at Home during their innovation day in 2012 after struggling to find luxury treats for her dog Spot.

Michelle said: “I used to wander up and down the supermarket aisles to look for a special treat for Spot, but I could never find anything.

“I pitched luxury bakes for dogs to Pets at Home thinking nothing would come of it, but they loved the idea and wanted a Christmas range.“As I wanted a product that was low in fat, safe for dogs and had a long shelf life of nine months, it took me two years to develop the right product.”

Today, Michelle employs ten people at her Wesham factory and sells her signature chocolate Woofins and dog friendly popcorn to Pets at Home stores nationally. It also supplies supermarkets, dog cafes, garden centres, farm shops and Michelle creates larger bespoke cakes for special celebrations with support from her team of bakers.

Michelle added: “I get a lot of requests to create birthday, Valentine’s Day and Easter cakes. I’ve just been commissioned to create a wedding cake for a dog who is the ring bearer for its owner’s wedding.”

For the past 12 months, Pierce has been working with the business, assisting on pricing to ensure profitability and supporting with tax and VAT strategy for new product development.

This aids cashflow which it said was critical for any business especially a new start up. It also delivers payroll and pension services to assist in the compliance of real time submissions and auto enrolment.

Mark Walmsley, associate director at Pierce, said: “The Barking Bakery is quirky and original. It has been a pleasure working with Michelle over the past year. We’ve helped to implement a strategic plan and the business is growing week on week.”