March 22, 2019 04:17 PM
CHILI, N.Y. (WHEC) -- It's a dog eat dog world when it comes to the competitive pet treats business.
But a Chili company is making its mark -- creating biscuits for dogs that are all natural.
The mixer is turning and this workplace smells like cinnamon. Laura Bugajski is cooking up a new recipe.
"This is our new flavor. This is apple cinnamon," she explains. "This is a test batch, so we've never made this before."
She is the owner of Delightfully Delicious, a small dog biscuit business she operates out of the 350-square-foot commercial kitchen she added onto her home.
You won't find any preservatives here because her dog treats are all natural.
Bugajski started Delightfully Delicious almost five years ago. After spending a decade in a high-stress corporate job, it was a health scare that made her re-evaluate her career.
"I ended up having a very mild heart attack at 33," she said. "So I totally switched gears and said no more of that. I need to keep myself healthy."
She found the dog treat business for sale online.
News10NBC's Brett Davidsen: "Was it something specific that made you say this is the business I want to be in?"
Laura Bugajski: "Well, dogs are my passion. My dogs are my babies. I want them to have the best, but I also always enjoyed baking."
While she bakes, her two part-time employees run the dough through a mold which shoots out the bone-shaped treats. They're checked by hand for quality then oven-baked for an hour.
The treats currently come in three flavors: peanut butter, pumpkin and sweet potato.
You can find them in specialty stores in eight states for about $6 a bag. Bugajski stresses that while dogs love the treats, she uses restaurant quality ingredients that even humans enjoy. And she offered to have us prove it.
"This is our peanut butter flavor. This is our most popular flavor, and just to show you that we can eat them.... they're a little crunchy, no salt, no sugar...because dogs don't need that, but they don't taste bad," she said biting down on one of the snacks.
"That's not bad," said Davidsen, also sampling the dog treat. "That's good ... as good as a dog biscuit can be."
All kidding aside, Bugajski says what sets her products apart is the quality control.
"We do have control over every step of the process," she said. "Every treat is going through our hands multiple times to make sure there's nothing wrong with them."
Bugajski says they have had growth every year so far and would like to expand to a bigger space by the end of the year. What she's still waiting for is that one big deal, and she's been taking her products to trade shows hoping to attract a big buyer. When asked where she sees the company in five years, she seems determined.
Bugajski: "I'm definitely in a bigger facility. I'm going to get some of those big contracts, whether it's a Wegmans or a WalMart or something like that. We're going to get one of them."
For more information about Delightfully Delicious, click here.
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Updated: March 22, 2019 04:17 PM
Created: March 20, 2019 05:09 PM
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