It’s a known fact that pets play an important part in many Australian households, particularly during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Which is why it comes as no surprise that the Australian pet food industry is booming. According to a report by TechSci Research, it’s predicted that the Australian pet food market will be worth a whopping $2.9 billion by 2025.
The demand for healthy and sustainable food for pets is evident in the story behind female founder Katharina von Heusinger’s startup. Founded in 2015, Katharina started The Golden Bone Bakery, which specialises in healthy dog treats, from her kitchen table. The business quickly evolved into a commercial operation, and then into the global market, and she’s now working with a distributor in South Korea that aligns with her businesses’ values for animal welfare and sustainability. We caught up with Katharina recently to find out more about The Golden Bone Bakery and her journey as a #femalefounder.
Can you tell us a little bit about your business?
The Golden Bone Bakery creates healthy pet treats that make your fur-babies happy! With our team of animal lovers and a know-how in pet health, we manufacture, promote and sell our superfood dog treat snacks online direct to fur-parents as well as via vets, pet shops and health shops around Australia and South Korea.
What inspired you to start your business?
We wanted to positively impact the world around us.
It’s about doing what you believe in. We know pets aren’t just pets – they’re part of our family and deserve nothing less than our best! When I first met my partner’s dog Jett, the only treats we could give him were full of preservatives, artificial flavours and sugars. We promised we’d change that and offer all natural treats to pet owners like us who value their fur-babies’ health and longevity.
You can be sure of our uncompromising commitment to quality in every product from The Golden Bone Bakery.
What milestones have you reached?
We started our healthy dog treat creations from our kitchen table and moved fairly quickly to a commercial kitchen in Ipswich to keep up with the demand. In 2017 we moved our Golden Bone Bakery production to the Borallon Correctional and Training Centre as part of a rehabilitation program for prisoners. We currently support six inmates with paid work opportunities. And as of last year, we now have an additional independent production facility.
Always thinking of how to support people and animals around us, back in 2017, we became the official sponsor of the RSPCA School for Dogs training facilities, donating more than 100 bags of treats for graduation gifts every month!
With steady growth each year, we have found a wonderful distributor in South Korea who aligns with our values for animal welfare and sustainability. With that export deal, we launched new Superfood treats and new packaging was created with much care and sustainability in mind. It features a happy dog face on a recyclable cardboard box with a compostable inner bag. We now can proudly say that we support our pets, people and the planet!
What business achievements are you most proud of to date?
I am proud that our treats are valued by Australian veterinarians, dog trainers, pet shops and health shop owners. We receive interest from around the world and take the time to choose the right partners to work with who align with our values.
I also love that we are known in the manufacturing industry for creating high quality pet biscuits, and in the small business/startup world as a company that partners with the RSPCA QLD and helps inmates regain self-worth and skills to reduce reoffence rates.
Have you participated in any Advance Queensland programs, or received any support from Advance Queensland to date?
I am part of the Advance Queensland’s ACE (Australian Champion Enterprises) Network which offers great webinars for businesses to reach the next level.
I also love to participate and contribute to Female Founders events whenever I can. I believe it’s all about “one hand reaches for the top, while your other hand helps someone else up the mountain”.
What’s your advice for other female entrepreneurs and businesses starting out on their entrepreneurship journey?
Make sure you have a strong and supportive environment. It’s tremendously important to consciously surround yourself only with people who have your best interests at heart. These are human beings that pick you up when you’re feeling down, celebrate your successes with you and give constructive feedback and advice when needed.
Also, I love these 3 rules:
If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.
If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.
Believe in your ideas and yourself – ready, aim, fire!