Lancashire dog-treat company sniffs out tasty £50K investment

19 February 2024

Lancashire entrepreneur, Gemma Connolly, who’s created a unique brand of edible greeting cards for dogs, Scoff Paper, has secured major backing from BBC Dragons’ Den’s Sara Davies to allow her business to take full advantage of the growing pet treat market. 

Volunteer guide dog puppy raiser, Gemma, who appeared on the show on the 15th of February alongside Leo, a young golden retriever, won Sara over with her clever idea and the tenacity she’s maintained in building her business from the ground up, which involved the development of never-before-seen manufacturing processes and machinery. 

As such, the famous businesswoman, known for her ability to spot big business potential, offered Gemma £50K for 25% of the company, with the option to claim 5% back if Sara recoups her investment within the first 12 months of their collaboration. With Sara’s expert eye and rich retail experience, Gemma, plans to make her world-first product accessible across the UK and internationally in the near future. 

Gemma comments: “I’m not good at blowing my own trumpet, but I gave it everything I had when I went into The Den and was proud of my presentation and my responses to the Dragons’ subsequent grilling. It probably helped that I had Leo by my side. 

“When Sara said she believed in me and my vision, it meant so much. I’m over the moon that she chose to invest in my little company that’s got its eye on global domination. After all, is there a dog on this planet that doesn’t love a tasty treat? With Sara’s know-how and support, I can put 100% of my time and focus into our business and get the bespoke manufacturing facility running at maximum capacity.” 

Gemma with TV Dragon Sara Davies

Sara Davies adds: “Gemma’s belief in her fantastic product was clear from the moment she stepped into the Den. I have so much respect and admiration for the work she’s put in to grow her company to the level she has. I’m excited to work alongside Gemma to mentor her through the next exciting stage of growth as she goes on to inspire dog owners around the world to celebrate their pets’ special occasions with edible cards.” 

Scoff Paper’s HQ, AKA ‘The Scoffice’, is based in Buckshaw Village, Chorley, where all the design, marketing and manufacturing takes place. As the business grows, Gemma plans to offer more career opportunities to local people across all departments. 

Watch Gemma face the business moguls on BBC iPlayer. 

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