Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Castrogiovanni.
Crystal, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Inspired by a desire to give her own dog healthy treats, a woman developed recipes and baked them in her home. Encouraged by friends, she ended up selling them in a local small dog boutique in Scottsdale for 16 years. My dog Bentley had been obsessed with them for the first 8 years of his life, so when I learned the “baker” was going to retire I panicked! I contacted her with the intention of having her continue to bake just for Bentley. She was not interested, but told me she would sell me the recipes. So I purchased the recipes, developed the logo, packaging and web site. She had never named the treats and I had always referred to them as Bentley’s Biscuits.
The treats are made with the finest human quality ingredients and baked locally in a bakery that produces artisan breads, cookies, brownies and Bentley’s Biscuits. The ingredients are healthy and the flavors intense! I know because I am the taste tester and actually eat the Apples & Oats tidbits everyday.
I have marketed the treats to the local specialty Grocery Markets AJ’s Fine Foods. They are also the pet treats at the AZ Biltmore Resort and the Camelback Inn, for their “Pet Guests” and in Old Town Scottsdale at the Oh My Dog boutique & pet hotel and spa.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
From the beginning, the biggest challenge was keeping up with demand. Not wanting to own my own bakery, I worked with a small family run bakery to bake the treats. At this stage the treats were being cut out one by one with cookie cutters, which greatly limited the quantities we were able to produce.
I outgrew them almost as soon as I started.
I ended up purchasing a special machine to automate the cut-out process, which increased our production exponentially. I was able to establish a new relationship with a larger local bakery, where I supply my machine for them to produce my product.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Bentley’s Biscuits story. Tell us more about the business.
Bentley’s Biscuits is a “boutique treat”, Small batches made from the finest ingredients and baked to the highest standards! It really is something you can feel good about feeding your dogs! I believe it is the intensity of our flavors that the dogs are responding to.
Remember, I am not guessing about the intense flavors… I am the taste tester and I like them so much. I personally eat the Apples & Oats tidbits everyday! (Great carb curber!)
From the beginning, a portion of all of our sales goes to support the local animal rescue organizations such as Arizona Animal Welfare League, Arizona Humane Society, Altered Tails, #LovePup, Small Animal Rescue, PACC911 and others.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t really think about luck one way or the other. I started Bentley’s Biscuits to keep my dog, Bentley supplied with his favorite treats! I believed in the product and was confident that if anyone tried it their pets would take care of the rest! I enjoy people, pets and business, so it’s a perfect fit!
- 1 lb bags @ $13.95
- 2 oz. Pocket Packs $3.95
- Website: www.bentleysbiscuits.com
- Phone: 480-772-1058
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: bentleysbiscuits
- Facebook: Bentley’s Biscuits