Pet treat business expanding with new pop-up shop and 'pawtisserie'

It is enough to give anyone paws for thought after a former finance worker with Shropshire Council turned a hobby in her kitchen into a major business.

Sarah Meredith and her dog Riley getting ready for the opening of their pop-up shop.
Sarah Meredith and her dog Riley getting ready for the opening of their pop-up shop.

Doggy doughnuts, cannoli cakes, and even birthday cakes are on the menu at the pet treat enterprise known as Life of Riley Pet Bakery and Boutique, now based in Market Drayton.

Sarah Mereditch, 32, from Stanton Upon Hine Heath, set up Shropshire's first and original pet bakery in 2018 after discovering her Patterdale Terrier, Riley, now eleven-years-old, was intolerant to many foods.

She set about making him treats from her home kitchen and as the business grew moved into a converted outbuilding.

Now the pet treat enterprise has gone from strength-to-strength and has recently expanded into a full-production operation in units at Tern Valley Business Park in Market Drayton.

Although Sarah deals mainly with wholesale outlets across the country and as far as Ireland, she has now decided to open a pop-up shop from 9am to 3pm on Thursdays, from May 5, which the general public will be able to visit on the factory site.

Sarah said: "I first started making treats for Riley, who we call our chief eating officer, as I discovered he was intolerant to many foods.

"All the ingredients are plant-based and no meat is used, so everything is vegan.

"Everything we do is natural and grain free and sales are growing fast.

"We make everything for pets from birthday cakes to ginger-bread men and cookies.

"We have become famous for our coconut macaroons and I think we are the only pet treat business producing these.

"Our Pawtisserie range will include a doggie version of ice cream cones that do not melt and a doggie version of lemon meringue pies.

"Although the Covid-19 pandemic put a halt on our wholesale business temporarily, we did find that our website sales went sky high, so what we lost with one hand we gained with another.

"I studied canine nutrition online back in 2018 when I first started and Riley has been my taste tester, although I now have a panel of taste-testers.

"My husband, Richard, aged 34 who was a former electrician, joined the company last year and we have three members of staff.

"I have to say that this does not really feel like a job as I get to do fun and exciting things like developing products.

"We will be welcoming the public to the pop-up shop from May 5 on Thursday and we have decorated this with Astro-turf walls and neon signs.

"There are also plans to sell Paw Balms, a moisturiser for dogs, and to launch a range pet bed spray and natural anti-flea repellent."

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