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Pawsitively Purrfect Treats for your Pets

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A young entrepreneur’s ambition and love for animals turned a summer passion project into a successful business venture. 

Emilia Quaggiotto, owner of 4Paws 1Pup, is a manufacturer of cat and dog treats as well as holistic pet supplements.

4Paws 1Pup’s main clientele are dog and cat owners looking for high quality treats and holistic supplements for their fur friends. All products are handcrafted and made with grain-free and organic ingredients with no additives or preservatives.

Customers can purchase products online at 4paws1pup.com or in-store at The Hungry Pooch in both Lakeshore and South Windsor, as well as Tailblazers in Barrie, Ont.   

The idea for 4Paws 1Pup came to Quaggiotto when she first brought home her Yorkie Poo, Maggie Sue. Wanting only the best for her fur baby, Quaggiotto went on the hunt for nutritious dog treats. “I went to the pet store to purchase bones and noticed that many of the brands on the shelf contained filler ingredients, some of which I didn’t even know,” stated Quaggiotto. This identified a great opportunity to make her own high-quality dog treats using no preservatives, additives or fillers.

After testing out her treats and realizing they were a hit, Quaggiotto got wind of the Summer Company program, which is an Ontario government-funded program that provides full-time students aged 15-29 with the financial resources and training to start a new summer business. She got to work on her business plan and was approved into the program, which helped launch 4Paws 1Pup.

Quaggiotto was pleasantly surprised with initial success of her venture and decided to operate her company as a year-round business. “When I first started the business, I thought that 4Paws 1Pup would just be a Summer Company,” said Quaggiotto. “I never imagined that my products would be available in stores and that in less than one-year 4Paws 1Pup would be online supplying to customers throughout Canada.”  

With the help of her mentor and raw feeding expert, Alina Sherman, owner of The Hungry Pooch, Quaggiotto has been able to expand her business to meet the needs of health-conscious pet owners.

“Initially I started with just dog treats, then expanded to feline treats and recently expanded to holistic pet supplements such as doggie teas and herb supplements to treat ailments such as allergies, inflammation, and digestive issues” stated Quaggiotto. The business has also expanded to selling in three retail stores and online.

“The plans for the future are to continue to develop products needed by our fur friends and to have our products available in other pet stores in Ontario and Canada.”

“I learned a lot from participating in the Summer Company program and running my own business,” said Quaggiotto, adding “It’s a lot of work to start up and operate a business even before you even get to selling your products. I was lucky enough to have the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre to guide me every step of the way.”

Quaggiotto has advice for new Summer Company applicants: “It is a great program that teaches you all about running a business. It is a lot of hard work on your part but very worth it in the end. There is a lot of satisfaction in owning your own business.”   

 

Emilia Quaggiotto is a client of the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre and received support and mentorship through our programs. You, too, can receive support in launching or expanding your small business. Contact the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre for more information.