Entrepreneurs Mark Scott and Tony Ottley have seen massive growth at their Perthshire raw dog and cat food company since they founded it four years ago.
Now, they are targeting reaching £50 million annual sales within five years.
Bella and Duke started out with just two people at Blairgowrie, but has since expanded and now employs more than 130 staff.
Turnover has also soared – from £701,000 in the first year to £11.2m in the past year.
Mark and Tony met while walking their dogs and discovered they shared a passion about creating a product which can help pets enjoy better health and longer lives.
They believed that diet was one of the main contributing factors to the death of three of their dogs from cancer.
Their view was that the nutritional quality of the ingredients and the percentage of meat in dry dog food was not good enough.
The pair wanted to create food for pet lovers to feed their pets, and to establish a brand to educate pet owners.
After an initial £60,000 investment, they started by making the product at home, then found a small manufacturer and got their first customers.
Chief executive Mark and director Tony feel they’ve helped grow the raw pet food market in the UK.
They said: “It’s great to see that raw pet food is on its way to becoming much more mainstream.”
The firm has a customer service operation at Blairgowrie, with the main team located at Rosyth and Inverkeithing covering manufacturing and fulfillment.
Bella and Duke about more than pet food
Bella and Duke now has more than 30,000 regular customers.
The directors highlighted that their business is not just about pet food – it is a wellness brand.
The pair added: “We have nutritionists and behaviourists who are there to help pet parents to best care for their four-legged friends.”
Bella and Duke produces three million cat and dog meals per month.
Mark and Tony said their product is all UK sourced and traceable.
They went on: “We’re manufacturing pet food to the same standards as the food we would expect to purchase in the supermarket.
“The food is only 48 hours old when defrosted and served to your pet.
“This means we can guarantee the quality and the freshness of the ingredients used.”
Covid-19 has brought about “big changes, the directors said.
They praised the team for their response to the pandemic.
“We’ve had an exciting past 12 months. We’re incredibly proud of the resilience of our staff and our business.”
In May, Bella and Duke announced a successful investment round of £7m from a consortium of investors.
Mark and Tony said this money has allowed them to invest in more people to join the team, as well as helping get out the Bella and Duke message.
Myth-busting around raw pet food
The directors said a misunderstanding and myths around raw feeding continues to be a threat.
“When anyone cooks food themselves, they maintain a level of hygiene with vegetables and raw meat,” they said.
“The same applies for raw feeding which people don’t realise.
“A lot of competitors will use this misinformation as a negative against raw feeding, but this isn’t the case.
“We have more than 130,000 pets on our database, and we’ve sold over 15 million meals.
“In that period of time, we’ve not had a single case of salmonella. This is a strong testament to raw feeding.”