Huds and Toke’s pet treats are so good Krispy Kreme signed them up to make donuts for dogs.
The Sunshine Coast-based business, named after the imaginary dragons of founder Emma Gibbons’ two sons, is making a name for itself as a manufacturer of high-quality animal food with sustainability at the heart of its operation.
“We saw a big gap in the market where we could input gourmet products for dogs going from doggy donuts to birthday cakes,” says Gibbons, winner of the 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for Queensland, in an interview with Wire.
Huds and Toke’s pet treats are made using Australian-farmed insect protein and vegetable surplus, which has a lower carbon emissions profile and helps to reduce farm waste.
“We’ve been partnering up with vegetable and fruit produce farmers to utilise their waste products, or products that they're not going to get a good price for,” Gibbons says.
The waste material is dried out into meal form in a process which requires much less water use and refrigeration than other pet food manufacturers. The operation also covers all of its available roof space with solar panels.
“Huds and Toke have a strong focus on sustainability. This is differentiating them in the market and it's really helping to take their business forward,” says Tania Motton, general manager, commercial relationship banking, at Westpac. The bank has been supporting Gibbons and her business for more than a decade.
Gibbons says the AgriFutures award, and recognition from Westpac as a “Business of the Future”, give her confidence that she’s on the right track.
“It means a lot to you when things are hard, because you know that other people have a belief in where you're headed. It gives you the energy to keep going.”
Motton says that winning the AgriFutures award for Queensland will create networking opportunities for Gibbons, as well as potentially opening up new markets for the business.
“We've been sponsoring the AgriFutures Awards for many years. We see this as a really important program in regional and rural Australia. Winners like Emma help to amplify the role women play in regional and rural Australia and agriculture.”
Huds and Toke’s dog treats are now available in Krispy Kreme stores in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US.
“They asked us to come on board to be a collaborative brand and create doggy donuts that could match the Krispy Kreme favourites of Australia,” says Gibbons.
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