This small business success story is Ipswich to the bone.
The Golden Bone Bakery is the result of Katharina von Heusinger’s love of her dog and her desire to make healthy treats for him.
“It all began with Jett, our labrador x blue heeler,” Katharina said.
“He was learning tricks in return for treats but the more we gave him the more smelly wind he would pass.
“I started paying careful attention to the ingredients listed on the back of the treats we were giving him and wondered why most of them contained sugar, artificial colours and flavours, lots of preservatives and other chemicals.
“Most chemicals are used to make treats look and smell like meat while also keeping them soft.
“I discovered that those artificial additives are not only unnecessary, they are also harmful to a dog’s digestive system.”
So Katharina and her partner Reiner Adolfsen started baking their own treats in their kitchen at home.
They joined innovation hub Fire Station 101 in 2016 and built The Golden Bone Bakery from the ground up in Ipswich.
“We started with nothing, we used all our own money and did everything ourselves,” Katharina said.
They up scaled the baking of their natural pet treats to The Ipswich Club and then onto the Karalee Golf Club.
“It took so much time and we were working non-stop 12 hours a day,” Katharina said.
It was important to Katharina to keep production local but the process was too much for them to handle on their own.
The team at Firestation 101 introduced them to the workRestart initiative run inside the Borallon Training and Correctional Centre.
“It is a rehabilitation program gives the inmates an opportunity to do something useful with their time and learn new skills for their resume,” Katharina said.
“It also teaches the inmates to work in a structured environment and accept hierarchies.
“It has saved us a lot of time and given us a wonderful opportunity for us to build a real business.
“There is a great spirit of support here in Ipswich.”
Katharina wants to educate dog owners and raise awareness so people know where to look and what to look for when buying food.
“When you pick up a product, please turn the packet around and go through the ingredients,” she said.
“If you see any sugar, artificial colours or preservatives, don’t buy it.
“Your dog will have less health issues which means less money at the vet and they will live longer.”
The Golden Bone Bakery offers five biscuit flavours: beetroot and parsley, carrot and mint, carrot and peanuts and pumpkin and rosemary and puppy lamb treats which are all made with wholemeal flour and organic cold pressed coconut oil.
They also offer 100 per cent fish, lamb and chicken breast treats, long lasting chews, vegan products and mackerel munchies for cats.
The Golden Bone Bakery sells treats online as well as at local stockists: Little Critters Vet at Bundamba, Market Organics at North Ipswich, RSPCA shop Orion Springfield, Colleges by the River at Chuwar and CrossFit 786 at Yamanto.