Scoff Paper founder Gemma Connolly, 37, began experimenting with potato peelings to make edible paper for her dog Loki in lockdown, but two years later she’s done business with companies like Pets at Home and John Lewis, receiving inquiries from all over the world.
Gemma, a Guide Dog Ambassador, said: “Dog lovers and their dogs just love the fun that Scoff Paper brings. We’re all about having fun with our four-legged friends and I think that’s something that’s really lacking in the canine world.”
The company sells personalized edible cards for all occasions and has won numerous awards, but Gemma says her road to success has not been easy.
When she was just 27, Gemma collapsed at work and was rushed to hospital where she had her pacemaker fitted two days later.
Gemma explained how this experience inspired her business: “I had a heart attack when I was in my 20’s brought on by stress at work and since then I’ve always dreamed of working for myself and being able to be to live and live work on my own terms.
“I have always loved dogs and having raised and trained 12 guide dog puppies, the puppies are a big part of my life.
“Since we only get a guide dog puppy for the first 12 months of her life, I always throw lots of parties and celebrations for her. When I had a dog named Loki I threw him a birthday party and he tried to eat his card – at that point I had a little brainwave and – could I make cards that dogs can actually eat?
Gemma and her partner, co-founder Matthew Fairhurst set out to find ways to make edible cards a reality.
She added: “We originally started experimenting with ingredients on the kitchen table without really imagining how far we could take it, but I just had a feeling it could be something.
“After months of testing and trying different methods, we felt confident enough to go to local pet stores and see what they thought of our crazy idea.”
Gemma first sold the cards on Etsy and then in pet shops and garden centers in her hometown of Chorley.
“It’s been grown really organic week in and week out since then,” Gemma explained. “It’s amazing to be working with companies like Pets at Home and Clintons in our first year in business. I can hardly believe it.
“We have also recently become international after attending our first trade fair abroad. We have discussions with companies all over the world – from the USA to Australia. It is wonderful!”
Starting in the kitchen with just 48 cards at a time, the company now has a two-story, 10,000-square-foot unit where more than 20,000 cards leave the doors each month.
Gemma added: “It’s still a family business and we want it to stay that way. We really care about Scoff Paper, our products, our customers and of course their dogs!”
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