1,600 - This the number of treats I’ve been cranking out of my kitchen on a weekly basis, on my own (not taking into account the assistance of my four legged friend). This number will no longer suffice. Demand for our treats is increasing at a rapid rate, while supply remains the same. Realizing that we can’t grow the business without bumping up our stock, we’ve decided to take TDT to the next level and begin producing in mass quantity!
Passing off the baking piece of the business was not an easy decision, as we take so much pride in each treat sold. When Tatum & I started the business, we spent many hours of experimenting, taste testing and unfortunately, trashing product that did not pass our quality test. Six months later, after pouring our blood (the occasional cut from knives and food processor blades), sweat (oven cranked in the extreme heat of the summer), and tears (moments of pure exhaustion from lack of sleep), we did it! We came up with four tasty & nutritious flavors of Trail Dog Treats.
We’re overwhelmed with excitement as we start a new TDT chapter! Not to mention a huge sense of relief knowing that we can sleep again. No more all night baking sessions, oven going at all hours… no more worrying about finding the time to bake enough treats for our weekly farmer’s markets, retailers, events & festivals. Not to mention keeping enough stock on hand to fulfill on-line orders and sample kits.
We were fortunate to find Tara with Stir Crazy Creations to help us move forward. I was referred to Tara by my packaging supplier, and soon after the introduction we began to plan our first baking session at her commercial bakery in Loveland. It was all so surreal, seeing the large oven that would bake my treats in half the time, knowing that this huge kitchen facility would soon replace my tiny workspace at home. Gone are the days of baking 2 racks at a time!
I met Tara at the bakery to begin rolling out our first batch. After taking inventory of ingredients, production began! It was 6:00pm and everything was running in full force… food processors shredding carrots, jars of molasses emptied by the minute, large mixers filled with dough, and me, in awe of the mass operation. The hours ticked by as we experimented with new treat shapes and tested bake times for each flavor. With the help of very strong coffee to maintain our momentum, we worked til the wee hours of the morning… we inspected every treat to ensure 100% Trail Dog Treats quality. 3:00am rolled around and my eyes were burning as we pulled out the last rack from the oven. Goal accomplished. First batch done. I left the bakery feeling like a kid on Christmas day, car packed with fresh baked treats… 2,500 treats to be exact!
The only thing missing… my “helper”……….
Tatum had to sit this one out, but she’ll be happy to know that we’ll now have time for product development. Our tree house kitchen will remain as the test lab for all future treat flavors, with lots of taste testing to be done!
A successful first run with Stir Crazy Creations. Next order will produce 6,000. You know what that means? Time to get out and sell!