By Jim Lee
Dover Post, Del.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Inspired by her love of dogs, entrepreneur Lisa St. Clair has built one of the largest dog treat bakeries in the country.
Dover Post, Del.
Like any business owner, Lisa St. Clair is laser focused on making her customers happy.
Their wagging tails validate her success.
“Everything Tail Bangers is about is celebrating your relationship with your dog,” said St. Clair, whose Millsboro company saw 32 percent growth last year and whose products today are shipped to about 2,000 stores.
St. Clair didn’t start out with a plan to grow one of the largest dog treat bakeries in the U.S., but a love of dogs, an eye for opportunity and a commitment to delivering a quality product have combined to make Tail Bangers a success.
St. Clair’s journey began when her dog got sick and needed to be on an all-natural-food diet.
“I started researching dog food,” she said. “At the time a pet manufacturer could put whatever they wanted into their food. So I started making dog food for my dog.”
She told her veterinarian about the food she was making and canning for her dog, and the veterinarian started giving it to sick dogs.
“It’s hard to get sick dogs to eat,” St. Clair said.
Word spread quickly, and soon she was making food for more customers.
“I was like the milkman delivering food to sick dogs,” she said.
Her dog food was so good that Whole Dog Journal did a story on it.
“I placed in the top dog foods in the country,” she said.
But she was still just making it in her kitchen, and she wasn’t getting much of a return on her investment.
“I wasn’t good at asking people for money, especially if their dog was sick or dying,” she said.