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Family dog inspires specialty pet treat business

Nelson family started making specialty diabetic friendly pet treats for their dog Bella and soon after started making them publicly available

Bella Boo Biscuits is a family-run business in Thunder Bay inspired by their own beloved pets with dietary needs. Heidi, Emily, Ashley, Kevin Nelson all have a hand in Bella Boo Biscuits.

During the pandemic they found it hard to find the treats and food they needed, so they decided to make their own.

“As you know we were in the pandemic and panic buying was at its extreme, because of this we were unable to get the food our two girls [Bella and Sophie] were eating for the past six years,” explains Heidi Nelson.

They received a lot of encouragement from friends and family after producing treats themselves using simple ingredients. They consulted with their vet and researched balanced diets for their fur babies.

Bella was diagnosed with diabetes and the Nelsons decided to make diabetic friendly treats and the dogs loved them. They made these treats available to the public too.

“I developed a few treats, set up a taste test group to see if other people's dogs enjoyed our treats. And we had success,” she said.

Heidi credits her daughter Emily for designing the business, developing the menus, business cards, labels and tags. They started a Facebook page and began to advertise their products to the community.

“Then people started to request things. Different sizes, soft treats, hard treats, gluten-free, egg-free, vegan, diabetic, and cakes. We listened and Bella Boo Biscuits evolved into what pet parents want for their beloved pets! We offer gluten-free, egg-free, no preservatives, fillers, salt, sugar, dyes.”

Bella Boo now offers seven different treats in a variety of sizes in gluten-free, egg-free, vegan options, and also have gluten-free, egg-free Bella Boo Cake in two sizes.

“Sadly in the late spring of 2022 our little Bella passed away at the young age of seven years. She made such any imprint in our lives, and I don't think there's a day we don't talk about her."

Their popular items are our Gluten-free Bella Boo Cakes. This year they offered fresh strawberries and blueberries on their cakes which were very popular.

“The cakes come in four-inch and six-inch sizes. A lot of pet parents throw a puppy party with friends and enjoy one of our cakes.”

Nelson explains that all of their treats are popular, it just depends on the customer.

“I think our treats that come in training mini size are the most popular because it's just enough for puppies, senior dog, diabetic dogs, over weight dogs and great for training. They don't crumble into tiny pieces and make a mess.”

Bella Boo offers pumpkin peanut butter, apple bacon cheddar, peanut butter banana bacon, dried liver and salmon sweet potato treats.

Bella Boo Biscuits incorporates as much local ingredients as possible. Strawberries, blueberries, apples, beans, sweet potatoes and carrots.

"We try to grow as much as we can ourselves and purchase the rest from local businesses. I would love to do more in the future if possible.”

Bella Boo Biscuits encourages pet owners to be aware of the ingredients in their animal’s food. “There should not be too many ingredients in the product and you should be able to pronounced every word you read. Look for all natural products. Nothing with colour dyes, there are natural food dyes made from safe vegetables and fruits.”

Bella Boo Biscuits is a home based business and credits their supportive customers for their ongoing success.  You can order online through their Facebook page, Instagram and text message: 1-(807) 620-8248.

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