A DOG’S dinner is the last thing entrepreneurs want to make out of any business venture.
But for Paul Marsden, creating tasty treats for his canine clientele is the key to success as he revealed plans for a thriving dog bakery in Portobello.
He believes the store is guaranteed to have tails wagging and mouths drooling when it opens on the High Street later this month.
His four-legged visitors will be able to sample anything from doggy doughnuts to venison brownies at Harry’s Gourmet Treats from April 23.
He said: “The treats are all based on what a human likes to eat. Things went a bit crazy on social media when I announced the plans.
“It was a really good reaction. Lots of folk are saying that they can’t wait for it to open.”
He added: “The best thing is the customer feedback and creating something that’s loved. The treats are swallowed in seconds.”
Paul, originally from County Durham, has been making the treats in his city flat and decided to open the bakery to cope with growing demand.
He started make the snacks for his pet pooch, Harry, a black Labrador rescue dog with a sensitive stomach.
Previously he worked as head of UK operations for a sandwich chain, until it went bust and he found himself out of a job. The 46-year-old then decided to start a business after carrying out market research in the Portobello area.
He also had some help from the social enterprise Create Opportunities, which gave him money to design a logo and create a website – while his products have also been promoted by VisitScotland.
Paul now supplies 36 premises, including Edinburgh Castle and various pet shops, as well as selling at festivals, shows and farmers’ markets.
He now makes up to 300 bags a day, each one weighing around 100 grams.
Among his more popular creations are black pudding and pancetta, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and Sunday roast treats.
He will also stock ham and cheese, tuna and thyme, and peanut butter crunch snacks.
Award-winning litter campaigner and keen dog walker Pip Wallen-Priestly, 60, of Leith, welcomed news of the opening but urged people to distribute the treats in moderation.
He said: “Human food isn’t always compatible with dogs. Obesity is no longer just a human problem and the older dogs get the fatter they get because they don’t exercise at the same rate. My Border terrier is 12 and gets two meals a day but I would certainly take him to the shop for the occasional treat.”