It was great to welcome Katie Kirkup, and her partner Gavin, down to the National awards for new start up businesses in the House of Commons yesterday. Katie set up her business from her kitchen in Ovingham in September and is doing really well. Her dog treats are super healthy, and are even adapted to dogs which do different types of activities - whether this is sheepdogs, gun dogs or dogs that go fell running with their owners. Having already won best business to consumer in the North East she was up against stiff competition countrywide from 7 other regional winners, but received a Highly Commended award and came second only to The Mobile Vet, an innovative vet business that goes door to door around the Isle of Wight. I chatted to Katie about the business which was launched at the Great North run - Katie works for Brendan Foster's promotion business in her day job. She explained that a few of the runners had even eaten the treats! The serious point is that the business was set up with some of Katie's own money, but also with support from the government and help from Tedco Business Support. She is planning to expand the business, and the innovative idea was admired by one and all. What was encouraging is that she sdescribed the process of getting government support as "easier than I thought it would be."
The treats will make a great Christmas Present. The website is here: http://www.jaspersdogtreats.co.uk/