INFLUENCER: Lauren Ruggiero

A quest for wholesome eating for all led to the founding of Buppy Pets, four-ingredient dog treats

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What made you first start creating your specialty gluten-free doggie treats?

About six years ago my husband and I began watching food documentaries and what we learned about ingredients was life-changing. We began researching the food we loved and discovered a laundry list of preservatives – the fake names used to mask something dangerous. We researched our dog’s food and treats, too: the types of fillers, artificial preservatives, colors, and “flavors” used in her food were completely marketed in a way that made me think all this time she was getting what she needed. This is why I started my company, with dog treats that bring it back to the basics. Each of our recipes contains only four ingredients and are inspired by human snacks that dogs go nuts for, but recrafted to make them healthy and wholesome with all the same delicious flavors. 

 

Where do you make your products?

Hope & Main in Warren! My husband and I were on the East Bay Bike Path on the hunt for some local lunch. We ended up at this building we never even knew existed. We were treated to live music, food trucks, and local artisans selling everything from chocolate to granola. After eating our lunch, a wonderful woman came over to us to welcome us and find out what brought us there. After learning she was Lisa Raiola, Hope & Main’s founder, she then told us that the old school building was “an incubator kitchen to help get food businesses off the ground.” My eyes widened!

Any tips for future entrepreneurs looking to start something of their own? 

My biggest piece of advice is to always go with your gut and stay true to the vision of your business and how you want it to grow. Once you launch and as you reach milestones, opinions and lots of feedback come from those that may not know your business as well as you do. Take all suggestions, digest them, and use it as part of the process, but don’t ultimately base your decisions and timeline on what others think. As long as you believe in it, stick with it. Find products nearby at Belmont Market, Dave’s Marketplace, Exquisite Skincare RI, Rumford Pet Center, and SOS reTAIL. Learn more at BuppyPets.com

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