Self-confessed ‘newbies to the business of business’ Tracey Banks and Chris Dye tell unLTD how ‘invaluable’ support from Launchpad helped the pair turn their love of dogs into a start-up success.

Tell us about your company?

We are The Deli Dog Box Company, and we sell 100 per cent natural dog treats. They are grain and gluten free and contain no hidden nasties! The manufacturing process involves simply air drying with no additives or preservatives used, so they are suitable for all dogs – even those with sensitive tummies – and they are a really healthy alternative treat for your dog.

When did you first decide to start up on your own and what inspired you?

We run a doggie day care and home boarding service and have worked this around our primary jobs (BA cabin crew and retail) for many years. Increasingly, we have noticed our doggie guests have presented with various challenges such as food intolerances and allergies, and we researched the best options for treats and snacks which would be suitable for all their dietary needs.

Last year, the impact of COVID-19 meant unexpected redundancy for us both, which gave us the opportunity to re-evaluate our aspirations for the future and the push to launch a new business which resonated with the sentiment of our love for dogs and their health.

How has Launchpad helped you?

We are complete newbies to the business of business! We found Launchpad quite early on in our journey and their help has been invaluable. From the very basics of setting up a new business, accountancy, writing a business plan (which helped us secure a significant grant), to learning all about social media – not something that we have grown up with – the wizardry of Canva and the witchcraft that is Instagram!

And we are still very much learning, knowing we have the help and support on hand of the Launchpad team.

What are your hopes and aims for the business?

We tentatively launched in February with lots of interest locally, so we would like to expand upon this and have secured stalls at market stalls and pop-up events in our area.  We are also looking to develop our online presence and have ideas and plans to add new products and offers.

We have already encountered difficulties and challenges and have realised our approach will need to adapt to overcome these, but the support and encouragement from Launchpad means we will continue to pursue our ambition to connect our belief that canine health really does go ‘hand in paw’ with canine wellbeing.

Launchpad advisor Julia Millea said: “It’s been a pleasure and delight working with Chris and his team on the development of the business and being able to offer him the right support at the start of his business journey.

“Chris is an inspiring and confident person who has developed a unique product for the canine market.  We wish them every success in this new venture and look forward to the launch of the doggy treat boxes.”

“Stop dreaming and do it. Contact us for information now on 03330 00 00 39 or email”