At the recent kids' market, 61 talented tamariki and rangatahi embraced their entrepreneurial skills and had stalls at the Otaki Market Kids Market. One of those local young people, is nine year old Erin from Waikanae, who runs her very own business Erin's Barking Bakery. She met with Jason, from the Doghouse Deli, a regular stall holder at the Otaki Market. Both share a passion for man's best friend.
We spent ten minutes chatting with Jason and Erin and to hear their insight into business, passion for dogs of all shapes and sizes and what they love about craft markets.
What made you want to start your business?
Erin: A book I read called inspiring others, which is a 3 book series about kids that do things to help people or the environment. I decided I wanted to do something to help the SPCA and setup a lemonade stand to make some money for them but it became too cold and there not many people passing by our street so I stopped this and decided to make dog treats instead. I knew there wouldn't be enough people outside our house so I decided to sell them on Facebook which my Dad help me setup the page.
Jason: I started making treats as a hobby for our own dog. We wanted to avoid treats that contained preservatives, additives, salt, sugars and other ingredients that are bad for dogs, so I started making natural dog treats.
How did you decide on the name?
Erin: I used an app called ChatGPT and asked it for ideas for a name for a Bakery that sells Dog treats for a girl named Erin, out of the 10 suggestions I chose "Erin's Barking Bakery", I chose this because I thought it was cute and explained that its a dog treat bakery run by a girl named Erin.
Jason: I think every business needs a catchy name and Doghouse Deli sounds pawfect!
How long have you been running your business and where are you based?
Erin: Since about the start of the year. I bake from home and sell mostly through my Facebook page.
Jason: Doghouse Deli is only about 2 years old, we are based in Levin.
What products and services does our business offer?
Erin: Homemade all natural baked dog treats, I did try making cat treats but they are fussy eaters so it was hard to make treat to their liking.
Jason: We sell a range of natural dog treats made from beef, lamb, pork, chicken, fish, veal and venison. We have a website for online orders, which we ship all over New Zealand.
What is your favourite dog breed? And do you have any pets?
Erin: I love Labradors (We have a 2 year old and 9 month old). But I do love Huskey because they're so fluffy and the British Bulldog because they are big and cute.
Jason: Labs, shepherds, collies, greyhounds, just love all dogs, they are amazing animals, we have a dog, he is a lurcher (part of the greyhound family).
What do you like about going to markets?
Erin: They're fun to look around, there's lots of stalls to explore and it's interesting to see all of the unique variety on display. I also like going to markets to see and pet all of the different dogs (when I am allowed).
Jason: Getting the Doghouse Deli brand out there, meeting other dog people and their dogs!
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a business?
Erin: It can be really hard when you want to do too much at once when you start, I would advise starting small with a few things and working your way up as you move on and get used to it.
Jason: Do something that is your passion, your favourite subject such as animals, music, sport, clothes, art etc. Think of a quirky name for your brand and don`t give up on a failure, learn from it.