Music teacher is on song with unique product for pooches

11:58 09 June 2014

Louis Loveridge has set up a new business called Sassy's Scoffs. Picture: Ian Burt

Louis Loveridge has set up a new business called Sassy's Scoffs. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

A music teacher is adding another string to his bow by starting up a new business combining two of his other passions - animals and organic food.

Louis Loveridge has set up a new business called Sassy's Scoffs. Picture: Ian BurtLouis Loveridge has set up a new business called Sassy's Scoffs. Picture: Ian Burt

Louis Loveridge from Garvestone, near Dereham, has been teaching guitar and vocals to school children across the county for several years.

But an experience with his wife’s dog has lead him down a completely new path - creating the UK’s first 100 percent organic, vegan, herb dog biscuits.

He and wife Niki Senior, an animal healer and therapist, discovered that Saskia, a Tibetan Prayer dog, was allergic to her normal dog food and they started preparing all her own meals.

“She was constantly scratching and nibbling herself and had a sick tummy,” said Ms Senior. “We started cooking her own food every day she has not scratched since. We are strong believers in using herbs as medicine and we believe in an organic diet so we wanted the same for our dog. Some of my clients asked us to make some kibble for their dogs and we thought there must be something in this.

“Louis started putting his cooking skills into action about 16 months ago and started creating recipes for a complimentary dog treat. When we were offered a kitchen to use near Wymondham we felt that it was all falling into place.”

The couple had not bargained on the hoops they would have to jump through with Defra and environmental health to produce their dog biscuit range.

“There are so many rules and regulations,” said Ms Senior. “It is easier to make a human product than one for animals. We have had to work very hard to source all the ingredients to make it 100 percent organic but all the biscuits have been lab tested and analysed and we are really pleased with the results.”

They were also keen to be environmentally-friendly so all their literature is printed with vegetable ink and packaging is part-compostable.

Sassy’s Scoffs, named after Saskia, launched a few weeks ago with six different varieties of biscuit using herbs such as calendula for anti-allergy, camomile for calming and parsley for fresh breath. They have been overwhelmed with the response.

“We have sent out leaflets to delis and healthfood stores and the orders are flooding in,” said Ms Senior. “We are keen to promote them as a healthy and holistic product so they won’t be in the big pet food stores but in the more artisan wholefood shops. We even have about 20 places in London that want to stock them and some in Yorkshire.”

But the proof of the biscuit is always in the eating and the true test was with some discerning customers. “We have tried them on some of the fussiest dogs I know and out of 72 dogs only one took the treat away to bury it and eat it later,” she said. “The rest snaffled them up.”

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