Updated: Mar 1, 2021
March is Meet the Maker Month, so we interviewed a few of the names behind the brands of our Archie Loves partners.
Starting with the man behind the amazing dog treat company Goodchap's, who we first discovered at Dogstival back in May 2019 and we have been huge fans of their fish treats ever since!
We asked Liam to tell us more about this wonderful, independent UK pet business.
How did you start Goodchap's?
Back in 2018, Mark and myself decided it was time for us to join forces, with his experience in running a successful business for over 20 years, and my experience in graphic and product design, it seemed we were both ready for a joint venture. With both of us being dog lovers and having a passion towards becoming more eco friendly, we discovered there was a gap in the market for eco friendly, healthy and natural dog products, this is how Goodchap's was born.
Tell us about the dogs who are the inspiration behind the business.
We adopted Ralph back in 2017, he was found alone wondering the streets of Romania, he’s an unidentifiable mix breed and proud! We adopted him through Amicii, a charity dedicated to rescuing dogs in need based in Transylvania. It took him a bit of time to settle into life in the UK, but if you saw him today, you wouldn’t think this Scruffs finalist had a hard start in life. Fred on the other hand settled in quickly, it was as if he was born for this life of comfort. He’s also an ex-street dog from Romania and was found by the lovely people at Monica’s Romanian Rescue. He came to us last year, and is the most affectionate loving dog you will ever meet. Him and Ralph soon became best friends, and are as inseparable as if they were with each other from birth.
Why did you choose fish as the basis for your treats?
Fish is one of the most eco-friendly animal products that can be sourced, as well as being great for a dogs health. With a great fishing industry within the UK it means we can take measures to ensure our treats are sustainably sourced and all from trusted fish merchants. It can also be naturally air dried, which means there is no need for harsh cooking processes, which can reduce both the quality and the benefits that a dog receives from such a great food source. Air drying fish also means preservatives aren’t needed, so we can keep our treats natural and additive free.
How has the last 12 months affected Goodchap's?
We have not been unaffected by the events of the last 12 months, but due to a growing popularity and need for eco-friendly dog products, we have found that our products have been more popular than ever. We have recently expanded our team to meet demands and our product range is ever growing.
What are your plans for next 12 months?
With the slow return of events and trade shows, we are planning to get back out there among our customers, both the two legged and four legged variety. With dog festivals becoming more popular, we are very excited to be attending both DogFest and Dogstival later in the year. Events like this are the highlight of our year, and we and very keen to be able to attend these events again.
Tell us more about your ‘Treat a Dog in Need’ scheme.
We are very passionate about helping dogs that need it, whether they be old or young, pure bread or mix breeds, or from the UK or overseas, they all need our help. We owe them so much and this is a simple way we can get every dog lover involved. With every pack sold from our ‘Treat a Dog in Need’ range, which includes Mrs Cook’s Fish Cakes, Mr Fisher’s Fish Skins and Lil’ Scamp’s Fish Bites, we send some of the same high quality treats to rescue centres across the UK an Europe. We have been overwhelmed with the popularity of this campaign, and find ourselves sending treats off on a regular basis to the dogs that really need it.
How do you see the future for Independent UK pet businesses?
The Independent UK pet business is a quickly growing industry. With more demand for local small businesses, it seems new shops and retailers are popping up on a daily basis. Being a small family run business, we are so proud to be a part of the independent pet industry, and do all we can to help other small businesses like ourselves grow.
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