“Everyone loves their pets, they’re family, so I’m going to capitalize on that.”
Amanda Clark owns The Maine Barkery. She sells all natural dog treats in Central Maine.
“I’ve just been doing it out of home with what I had, so it gives me the push that I needed to take the big step.”
That push is $20,000. Clark won the Maine Street Skowhegan Savings Entrepreneur Challenge.
“My husband and I got a puppy and I started making him his own food, so it seemed natural to make him his own treats too.”
What started as making a few dog treats for friends and family has turned into a profitable business.
“Amanda started in 2014 and has since then increased her wholesale accounts to 15 different businesses across the state, so that really showed initiative for us,” said Kristina Cannon, Executive Director of Maine Street Skowhegan. “And she gets her products locally, so that was something that was really important to us as well.”
The goal of this challenge was to help budding entrepreneurs learn the ins and outs of owning a business.
“These types of contests are really important because it helps spur economic activity. We want more businesses to come to Skowhegan, so we’re willing to do what we can to help them come here,” said Cannon.
So, what’s next?
“Buy equipment, bigger ovens, bigger mixers, go out and find more accounts,” said Clark. “I have eight flavors right now, but probably the most popular would be peanut butter banana, or I have a peanut butter and jelly one that has strawberries in it. My dog loves that one.”
Clark says she’s excited to keep business local.
“That’s how kids get dance lessons and you’re not supporting a big business, you’re helping a family put food on the table. It’s all about community.”