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Running a pet food bakery in Singapore

pet food friendly baker crystle tan feed my paws

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This baker uses natural ingredients to make cakes and treats for dogs, cats, and even hamsters.

As it turns out, pet food does not always come in sacks or tin cans.

From durian candy to beef lung puffs, 33-year-old Crystle Tan is baking treats for our furry friends that are not only mouthwatering, but nutritious as well.

In fact, Crystle's pet-friendly bakery, Feed My Paws, has created over 500 recipes for pet treats over the past six years.

Youth.SG spoke to Crystle at Feed My Paws bakery in Toa Payoh to find out what it is like baking for pets and running a pet-friendly bakery.

Who: Crystle Tan, 33
Occupation: Pet-friendly baker
Studied: Degree in accountancy from Murdoch University

How and why did you decide to start your pet-friendly bakery?

Back when I was taking care of my late chihuahua who was very sickly, I met a vet who opened my eyes to home-cooked food. My dog took to it very well, and suddenly became so strong and healthy. That inspired me to start Feed My Paws, to help people who are facing the same problem. 

It started as an online shop, and we recently opened our brick-and-mortar store in November 2018.

Feed my paws team photo full timer part
Crystle and her business partner Clarissa (second and third from the left) run the bakery with a team of part-timers.

Describe a typical day at work. 

As soon as we reach the bakery, we start going through orders that were placed. A lot of these come from various pet store retailers. 

I usually take on more complicated things like tarts and cakes, while Clarissa is in charge of her small animal range. The rest of our team hand-makes the cookies and other treats. 

I also design the packaging and stickers you see on our products as well as work on upcoming marketing campaigns from time to time.

Feed My Paws packaging
All of Feed My Paws' packaging is designed by Crystle.

How do you come up with your recipes? 

I enjoy eating a lot, so I guess a lot of my inspiration comes from what we humans eat. I try to mimic that, making it pet-friendly. I also try to incorporate healing properties from herbs and vegetables into my treats.

Humans can eat our treats too. One of those humans is my husband; I always find myself keeping treats away from him because he eats anything I bring home!

Pet treats making process ingredients natural
Feed My Paws' products are homemade and all-natural. Some customers even sprinkle the bakery's treats on top of their own porridge to eat.

What are some challenges you face as a pet-friendly baker?

I think it would be when other bakeries recreate our products. It annoys us because we work very hard to come up with new recipes.

But after a while, we let it go. The more people recreate our products, the more we will strive to create new ones. And it goes to show that there's a market for such products.

pet food friendly recipes cookies patties
If you want to try your hand at baking for your pet, Feed My Paws shares original recipes on Instagram and their website.

How difficult is it to start a pet-friendly bakery?

The barriers to entry are low. There are plenty of bakeries operating from home, so if you're looking to start a small business on the side, it's really easy.

However, you are competing with a lot of other brands. At any point in time, I would say you would have around 30 competitors, so it gets harder to stay in the industry in the long run.

dog in shelf dog sitting
Before founding Feed My Paws, Crystle used to be a professional dog sitter, which helped her understand dogs' health better.

What advice would you give to youths considering starting a pet-friendly bakery?

Work hard and do a lot of research. Take it upon yourself to constantly innovate and create something new, and remember the reason why you started your business as motivation.

Feed my paws staff cute dog golden retriever
According to Crystle, the most fulfilling part of her job is seeing her customers' pets happy and enjoying her treats.

Educational requirements: None

Qualities needed: Positive, hardworking, being a good team player, and the ability to take criticism from customers and your bosses.

Salary range: Part-time staff $7-10 an hour, full-time staff from $1,500.

Working hours: Seven to eight hours a day. Being in the retail industry, working weekends is a must.

Career prospects: Running your own bakery exposes you to the veterinary field, and other areas like marketing and events management.

Feed my paws has a special promo for Youth.SG readers! Simply quote "FMPXYOUTHSG" and get 10 per cent off online purchases from now till end of August 2019. Valid for all treats except Vouchers, Bundles, and Limited edition items. Limited to the first 54 redemptions!


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