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The aim of these blogs will be to provide a light hearted look behind the scenes at Nelson's Treats HQ, where we'll aim to give each of you a greater insight into what it is that we do here and why we do it. Throughout these blogs, we'll be looking to cover everything from our own origins story, hints, tips & tricks relating to all things feeding, training & grooming and also an introduction to some of our favourite partners and brands plus everything in between (all doggy related obviously). If you take nothing else from these blogs, at least its half an hour out of your day where you can read about something that isn't related to COVID, Brexit or Trump (that's the last time any of those are mentioned we promise).
For our first blog, we thought it was only right to start at the beginning to give you a bit of background on the man behind the dog, explain how and why Nelson's Treats came about, where the business is currently at and what are our plans for the next 12 months.
For those of you who don't know me, my name is Tom, founder and owner of Nelson's Treats and proud dog dad to Nelson himself, who let's face it is the real boss of the business. I first started Nelson's Treats back in 2018 and to say that I never anticipated just how crazy it would have gone between now and then would be an understatement. The business has already far exceeded my expectations, especially in such a short period of time and I couldn't be more excited about where things are going. But before we get ahead of ourselves, just how and why did the whole thing start?
Well, prior to starting Nelson's treats, to say I'd had an eclectic mix of previous job roles would be putting it mildly. I've worked in a variety of jobs during my working life including Waiter, Pub Manager, Holiday Park Children's Entertainer (I never want to hear the Grease Megamix again) to name a few. My most recent employment besides Dog Treats Boss, was working as a Store Manager for a well-known coffee brand (Pumpkin Spiced Latte anyone?) and it's from here where I followed the traditional path of all good coffee shop managers into the world of dog treats ..... well, not quite!
Whilst I've always known that I'm happiest when I'm working for myself doing things that I love, making dog treats wasn't my first idea for a business and things could have gone very differently. I had actually planned to open my own coffee shop, which you could argue is the more traditional path for a coffee shop Manager to follow (I'm also not too bad at baking human treats too). Everything for the coffee shop was pretty much in place to go, until the landlord of the location I had my heart set on pulled the plug at the last minute.
Whilst this was incredibly frustrating at the time, it actually gave me pause and allowed me time to take stock of what it was that I actually wanted to do and I soon came to realise that opening a coffee shop wasn't where my passion lay, it was just an industry I knew well and felt comfortable in, but that doesn't always make for the foundations of a successful business if the passion isn't there too. So, everything falling apart at the last minute whilst incredibly stressful at the time, actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Nelson's Treats may never have come to fruition.
Fast forward a couple of months, the coffee shop dream shattered and still working full time for that well known coffee brand (can I take your name for the cup please?), then the unthinkable happened which changed everything; we got Nelson!! Now I'm not going to talk about getting Nelson here because, spoiler alert, that may be in a future blog, who knows!? But what did become apparent to us very early on, was that the pet food market was saturated with the same large organisations, turning out the same bland treats, with unpronounceable ingredients that I just didn't feel comfortable feeding to Nelson.
So I began to play about with a few different treat recipes using only human grade ingredients and gave these to Nelson, along with family & friends’ dogs and it soon became clear that I was on to a winner. Not long after that, Nelson's Treats was born.
Whilst the business is unrecognisable today when compared to what it was back then, I couldn't be prouder of what I've achieved in getting Nelson's Treats off the ground, whilst working full time as a Manager in a fast paced, often stressful industry. Literally working every waking hour across my job and the business, it wasn't until 2020 that I finally felt able to take the plunge and leave my Managerial job to focus on Nelson's Treats full time.
This was an incredibly scary move to make at the time leaving the security of a decent paid, stable job, but without a doubt it was 100% the right decision, as the business has gone from strength to strength and I haven't looked back since.
Without a doubt these next 12 months are what I'm most excited about for a number of reasons, but mainly because this will be the first full year where I am able to focus fully on the business without any distractions of another job. We have so many exciting plans and new products we can't wait to show you which includes more themed boxes than ever before, which you guys always go crazy for. We also have our super exciting Smelly Nelly Pamper Range which has already been a huge hit, plus more of a focus on expanding our range of dog food, bringing you more great flavours and products to get your teeth into.
This feels like a good place to bring our first blog to a close and if you have stuck with us until now then well done, you definitely deserve a treat (pun intended) after reading all that. We are really excited about next month’s blog and since it's valentine's month, we'll be discussing our top 10 celebrity crushes and secret dating tips for your love shy pooches .... not really, maybe in a future blog, we'll actually be introducing you to each of our fantastic Nelson's Treats reps so we can find out more about each of them; it's not all about Nelson after all, just don’t tell him that.
Until next time
Tom & Nelson