Every week, ILQ features a different Qatari startup in our ‘Startup of the Week’ segment. Qatar has some of the most creative, unique, and impactful startups in the region, and we cover them all, across a variety of industries in Doha -- fashion and beauty, food & dining, health, education, and many more!
In the spotlight this week is Hakuna Matata Dog Bakery (HM Pets) -- a home-based business in Qatar focusing on the production and selling of natural, fresh and healthy dog treats! With the core mission of offering customers healthier dog treats, HM Pets' homemade and baked products have no added sugar, colorants, or artificial preservatives, and are all made with fresh natural ingredients.
Founder Faten Ali said they started the business because they couldn’t find healthy treat options for their dogs. "Our clients share the same pain and challenges. They want to give their pets the best possible quality of life and nutrition is a key part of that. We cater to the growing community of pet owners in Qatar. Each of our recipes is made to provide certain health benefits to dogs."
She cited 'Ginger Dogs' as one of HM Pets' bestsellers. A dog biscuit made with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and coconut oil, the product is a great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory used to treat digestive upset and motion sickness -- two common symptoms in dogs.
"Unfortunately, commercial treats don’t carry these beneficial ingredients, and this is why we ensure that each of our recipes is carefully crafted to add value to the dog nutrition," Faten's husband Aziz continued.
Turmeric, mint, vegetables, and homemade peanut butter are also used to produce the highest quality of dog treats.
When Sayuri -- the couple's first dog -- came to their lives in March 2013, Faten and Aziz knew she was theirs. "After Sayuri's first two days under our roof, we started our journey to learn about dog treats. Since we don't trust commercial dog treats that much and we wanted only the very best for Sayuri, we started looking for alternatives. We didn't find any in Qatar, so we decided to make them instead," recalled Ali.
When the pet community of Qatar started asking Faten and Aziz if they could get natural homemade treats for their dogs as well, they got contemplating and that's when HM Pets was born. Calling HM Pets the only artisan dog bakery in Doha, Faten stressed they strive to produce only the best quality of dog treats by preparing it in small units and selling it fresh so as to maintain the nutrition value of the ingredients.
"We have great feedback from the customers who tried our treats. We have been participating in Torba Farmer's Market for the past two months, and for the first time, we have our own stall at the annual Qatar International Food Festival. We have had amazing response from the visitors.
“We are overwhelmed by the kind feedback and reviews we receive on our social media accounts," said Ali, who also clarified that HM Pets is an independent start-up that wasn't incubated in either the Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) or Digital Incubation Center (DIC).
When asked whether start-ups like HM Pets can help boost Qatar’s economic growth, Faten had this to say: "Yes, of course. Small businesses play a major role in supporting economy in any market. We contribute to economic diversification. Moreover, start-ups help create jobs when they grow."
Interested customers can always place an order through email, phone, and HM Pets' social media channels. They also arrange delivery and pickup services. A single-ingredient treat such as the 'Dehydrated Chicken Jerky' and 'Lamb Liver' are reasonably priced at QR30 for a 40 gm bag. Biscuits prices range from QR10 for a bag of six 'Ginger Dogs Biscuits,' QR15 for a bag of 6 pieces of 'Love Bites' peanut butter biscuits, to QR20 for a bag of 12 'Meaty Bites" biscuits made with chicken meat, carrots and oregano.
HM Pets also offers unique furniture for your pets that are designed and hand-crafted to give your interior decoration a trendy, refined and original style -- whether it's a stylish teepee or bed where pets can feel comfortable. Adding to their long list of offerings is a variety of birthday cakes for dogs that are healthy and fun!
HM Pets' social media channels contain all the information that a pet-owner needs to know about Faten and Aziz' healthy dog treats recipes.
The couple also revealed that treats for cats is on the cards as 17 new recipes are set for launch next month.
"We aim to be the preferred choice for healthy pets treats in Doha and a source of awareness and inspiration for the community of pet owners. We’re constantly trying and developing new recipes."
To know more about HM Pets, visit their stall at QIFF 2018 in Hotel Park Doha until March 25! You can check out their contact details below!
Contact number/s: (+974) 77666062
Email address: [email protected]
What are some of your favourite startups around Doha? Comment below! And also, don’t forget to give us a like and share -- it keeps us going!
(Images courtesy of Hakuna Matata Pet Bakery's Facebook)
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