Nolan Fallowfield is a Quesnel-based entrepreneur who transformed his love of dogs into a successful healthy dog treat business.
For Nolan, who receives some individualized funding support from CLBC, it all started in his volunteer time when he walks dogs, and when he found a recipe for dog treats on the web.
“I have walked dogs at the SPCA since 2007 and we started making dog treats to donate to them in 2015. Looking for a job in Quesnel has been tricky for me and my brailling business wasn’t as busy as I had hoped. The dogs at the SPCA like the treats so much I thought I could sell them to make some money.”
Once he had the idea for the business, Nolan had to figure out how to market his product.
He worked with his mother, Bonnie, to assess which local stores might carry his product, and how to package the treats.
“We had to get a box to sell them in, we had to buy bags and labels to put the dog treats in, and we had to find places to sell them,” says Nolan.
Nolan’s Delicious Dog Treats is a family affair with Bonnie and a friend helping Nolan each week.
His sister, Alisa, has created a Facebook page, Nolan’s Delicious Dog Treats, where Nolan posts pictures of his products, as well as updates. His microboard, a group of his family and friends who help him access individualized funding and supports, also help to get the word out about Nolan’s product.
“I buy all of the ingredients.
It is my donation each week to his business,” says Bonnie. “Nolan and I make the treats on Sunday and I label the bags.
On Mondays, Nolan and I put the treats in the labelled bags, and then into containers for delivery. Nolan and his friend Sandy deliver the treats to stores on Tuesday.”
Recently, Nolan bought car magnets to advertise his business, and Nolan’s Delicious Dog Treat t-shirts for the summer, and toques for the winter, for him and Sandy to wear when making deliveries.
Currently, the treats are available at Bliss, the Co-op, Lil Red Pony and Bouchie Lake Farm and Feed in Quesnel.
“Each week, we go to the SPCA to donate a bag of cookies and walk the dogs. I also donate 10 per cent of the money I make to the SPCA,” says Nolan.
The business is a lot of work, and Bonnie’s hope is that in the future they will be able to use individualized funding to purchase support for Nolan’s self employment, so he can have staff assist him to make and package the dog treats.
“His business has the potential once there is more product to sell to have other people join him, but for now, it’s enough,” says Bonnie, who works full-time in the local school district.
When asked about what he would like to see for the future of his business, Nolan says, “I hope I will sell more dog treats so I can make more money because I like to travel.”
The dog treat business is Nolan’s second entrepreneurial venture; his first was translating local business publications into braille.
People who are interested in using Nolan’s braille service, or purchasing dog treats, can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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