The Story Of Pure Pet Food
Pure Pet Foods has quickly established itself as one of the best dog foods available. Following their appearance on Dragons Den eDogAdvisor met up with the Mat and Dan, the two entrepreneurs behind the food, to find out more....
Mat Cockroft and Dan Eha grew up next door to each other on small farms in Yorkshire. Having both taken a keen interest in nutrition and having dogs of their own, they could never quite understand why the food would say it contained chicken and carrot etc., but inside look like small biscuits that had clearly been processed.
When researching alternatives they found there was a huge interest for feeding a raw or home prepared diet. They also realised that although home cooking or raw feeding is a great idea in principle, the reality is it can cause a lot of inconvenience as this leaves owners with the time consuming task of preparing their own meals and problems when forgetting to defrost meat.
Having spent a number of months researching they finally came across the age old method of dehydration, which involves gently blowing warm air across ingredients over several hours to remove the moisture and preserve them. This natural process allowed them to eliminate the harsh temperatures and cooking procedures that are often used in producing commercial pet foods, but give owners the benefits of a raw or home cooked diet. All owners have to do is simply add water to the food, wait a short time to rehydrate, and serve.
The business launched last year and after early success they were lucky enough to be selected to make an appearance on Dragons Den in July.
In the programme Dan and Matt asked the Dragons for £40,000 investment in return for a 10% stake in the business. Deborah Meaden offered the pair all of the money but demanded 30% equity while Kelly Hoppen was also prepared to give them the whole amount for 20%.
Describing their appearance in the Den Dan said: "Being on Dragons’ Den was an experience we will not quickly forget. From tasting our products to prove their quality, to battling through an intense onslaught from initially bemused Dragons, we finally won our potential investors over, receiving unanimous praise from all Dragons. Duncan Bannatyne remarked 'It was possibly the best pitch I have seen in over 10 years of Dragons’ Den' while Peter Jones commented that 'You made dog food cool in the Den.' It was Deborah Meaden’s offer which we found ourselves most torn over. Her experience of the pet food industry and consumer products meant she was the best fit of all the Dragons, so her comments on the viability and potential of Pure were very encouraging".
So why did they turn down the offers? Mat explained that to sacrifice 30% of their business, which they have devoted so much time and energy over the past 18 months to, was a huge decision for them to make. "After much negotiation and deliberation, the terms of investment didn’t feel right for us and we ultimately turned down the offers that were made. We believe so much in the successful future of Pure; confidence derived from the positive feedback and loyalty received from our ever growing customer base, that our decision will prove to be one we will not regret".
Despite leaving the Den without a Dragon on board, Mat and Dan's business is going from strength to strength and they have just been awarded the Best Start-Up top prize at the 2014 Enterprise Awards.
For further information on Pure Pet Foods please visit http://purepetfood.co.uk/