Preservative-free puppy products

After her dog Biscuit fell severely ill from a commercially produced treat, Diamond Bar High School class of 2017 alumna Ashley Chen decided to take her dog’s diet into her own hands.

One month later, under the name Biscuit Bentos, Chen launched her own business producing dog treats using only organic ingredients. Although Chen had already been entertaining the idea of starting a dog treat business since February, it wasn’t until the incident occurred that she decided to take the leap.

“You don’t realize how nasty the ingredients are in some mass produced dog treats,” Chen said via email. “If I wouldn’t eat it myself, why would I feed it to my dog?”

All of the ingredients Chen uses in her products are natural and preservative free, with no salt or artificial sugars, and can be viewed on her website in the “additional nutritional details” section. However, one of the issues she faced when first formulating her dog treats was her dedication to using only healthy ingredients—a challenge that she overcame through trial and error.

“Our baker tested multiple recipes for months before landing the perfect consistency,” Chen said. “A lot of time went into researching healthy ingredients for dogs and testing mixes to find a dough that won’t crack while baking but is durable enough to last in shipping with minimal packaging.”

Typically, her routine for baking treats begins with preparing the ingredients and blending them together in a mixer. Then, she hand-cuts the cookies with 3D printed cookie cutters, bakes them and dehydrates the dough for about six to eight hours.

“Because we have the ability to design and 3D print cookie cutters in house, Biscuit Bentos has the capability to create dog treats of any shape, size, or design,” Chen said. 

The customizability of Chen’s dog treats has resulted in numerous partnerships with other small, pet-focused businesses. Currently, Biscuit Bentos is in collaboration with dog accessory companies Sassy Woof and Cookies & Co., as well as several other pet-friendly businesses. 

The Biscuit Bentos team also includes numerous canine ambassadors that help to promote the brand through social media. These dogs serve seasonal terms and promote the business by sharing launch dates, sales and announcements through Instagram stories, as well as by posting regular promotional posts with the products. 

Each ambassador is assigned a special discount code to keep track of engagement and publicity [and] all brand ambassadors are in a group chat to keep up to date on announcements,” Chen said. “In the dog community on Instagram, people are very supportive of pet-focused small businesses.”

Over the five months that have passed since its launch, Biscuit Bentos has already managed to generate over $20,000 in revenue. Part of their proceeds go to charity, as they have pledged to donate one dollar for every one of their bento boxes sold.

“The non-profit we chose for 2021 is Priceless Pet Rescue. In high school, I volunteered at this no-kill animal shelter and fundraised money through school organizations to donate to Priceless Pets,” Chen said in an interview with VoyageLA. 

So far, Biscuit Bentos has managed to donate $151 dollars to Priceless Pet Rescue as of Sept. 11 and has plans to expand their shipping to Canada soon.