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Memphis couple makes healthy dog treats

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

This Christmas treat your dog to a gift that's not only homemade and good for them, but will also help two entrepreneurs grow their business.

David and Shanea McKinney have a produced dog treats that have pets licking their chops and the owners taking their business to the next level

MORE: One Smart Pet Food Company

The lights are on and so is the oven inside this bakery in the medical district. Hard at work are pharmacist Shanea McKinney and her husband David, a corporate lawyer.

"I have been baking for a long, long time," Shanea said.

Together they are trying to bite off a piece of the nation's $4 billion pet industry by selling natural dog treats made from scratch.

"We look at pets family members as extensions of our own family, so why shouldn't they have personalized food and treats that meet their needs," Shanea said.

"Instead of serving people, we serve dogs and cats and, in directly people, but we like to think of the benefit of the pet first," David said.

Necessity moved the couple to sell dog treats originally made for their underweight English Bulldog named Chancellor.

"The doctor said he needed to start eating a more natural food and I looked around and I struggled to find," Shanea said. If you look at the back of most dog treats you can't name half the stuff in them."

"You look on the back and you say. "hey" I know what that is, each and every ingredient or at the minimum I can pronounce each and every ingredient and I think the simplicity of the product is almost the beauty of what we do."

The McKinneys bagged their treats and chicken snacks and sold them at the Downtown Memphis Farmers Market. While most businesses struggle the first year, One Smart Pet Food is a barking success.

"I'd say this first year one of our goals was to sell 500 bags and we have quadrupled that this year," David said.

Not only did they make a tidy profit but Memphis area pet store chain Hollywood Feed has put them on their shelves.

"Some of their customers purchased the treats and told them about this company and they reached out to us," David said. "The rest is history."

In the next few years the McKinneys believe their business will grow to the point one of them can afford to leave their corporate job and focus on taking their product to the next level of retail.

"Two years ago, you would have identified us as something else," Shanea said. "Now, you will, 'You're the dog treat lady?' Love that."

 

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