Be kind to yourself

Bella and Duke best raw dog food real benefit to your dog’s health

Please introduce yourself and your startup Bella and Duke to our readers!

We’re Mark and Tony, founders of Bella and Duke. At Bella and Duke, we’re on a mission to ‘declare raw’, educating dog lovers on the health benefits of a raw food diet for their much-loved canine companions. We currently supply over 9.4 million meals for pets each year across 26 different recipes.

How did you get the idea of Bella and Duke?

The idea was sparked by sadness with both of us losing our beloved dogs to terminal illnesses. Once we looked into the pet food industry and the nutritional values that’s in mainstream dog food it was evident that processed food had led to our dog’s illnesses. After all there are 8.7 million species on planet Earth and only two are eating cooked processed food – humans and household pets. Which species have seen a massive increase in chronic diseases? Humans and household pets. That’s when we knew raw food was the way forward and decided to act up on this.

Why did you decide to start with Bella and Duke?

We’ve both ran successful businesses before Bella and Duke. This development is much more to us than entrepreneurial – Bella and Duke is a passion project. We’re passionate about educating the dog owners out there about the benefits of a raw food diet and how good it is for their pets. We see Bella and Duke much more as a pet wellbeing company rather than a simple food supplier – that’s why we’re committed to ensuring our dog food is of the highest possible quality.

What is the vision behind Bella and Duke?

We want Bella and Duke to be the company that puts the welfare of pets first by educating pet owners and the general public on pet nutrition to change the lives of pets and create a change in an industry that consistently puts profits before pets. We’re currently focussed on supplying raw food across the UK but have one eye on exporting in the future.

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

The difficulty was finding a manufacture partner who could keep up with our growth, storing finished products and raw ingredients takes a lot of space!  Also we want to be as green as possible, the challenge is to find packaging that is safe, will keep food frozen and not damaging to the planet. After years of testing and improvements we finally feel we have a solid solution.

Who is your target audience?

Bella and Duke is for dog owners and the dog lovers. Our typical customer is family orientated with a busy professional life. Family is important to them, and their dog is included in that. Time is also precious, that’s why their willing to research what’s the very best for their dog – and that’s where they stumble upon a raw food diet and Bella and Duke.

What is the USP of your startup?

Our food is natural, raw and delivered straight to your door. Our goal is to help your pet achieve optimum health, that’s why we tailor our meals to each individual pet’s age, weight and activity levels.

Can you describe your typical workday?

Mark: I wake up at 5am and normally listen to a book, podcast or meditate for an hour.  I will then try and do 30 minutes exercise before getting the kids up and on the school bus.  And I then take 30 minutes out and enjoy a coffee with my wife and discuss my plans for the day.

I look at the day and prioritise whats important and whats not, typically I have a quick catch up with my management team and make sure all is well and on target. And I plan out my week so we have a weekly management meeting.  I am actively involved in Facebook lives, sales and marketing and coming up with ideas.

I try to move a lot through the day so I’m not just sitting down in front of a pc, I think it’s really important to move, take walks and give yourself time to think about challenges.   And I listen to a lot of podcasts and audible books, self-development and a growth mind set is important. 

I cook meals half the time for the family and focus on using good ingredients as what we put into our bodies is so important for high performance.

In the evening I will try and stretch and do 30 minutes in a Infrared sauna before going to bed at 9 to 9:30pm quality sleep is so important.”

Where do you see yourself and your startup Bella and Duke in five years?

The largest pet wellness brand in the UK.

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

Be kind to yourself

Don’t let your ego get in the way

Get great people around you to support you, don’t hire mini me’s

More information you will find here

Thank you Mark and Tony for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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