Sarasota, Florida-Starting your own business can be intimidating but not for one Sarasota couple. They became entrepreneurs in their 70's and now in their 80's the business is booming.
Bob Fellows pulls out of the oven two trays filled with alligator shaped treats ready to eat
“There they are cooked,” says Bob.
The treats are made from scratch in Bob and Florence Fellows small Sarasota kitchen. The treats are made from 6 natural ingredients no preservatives: garbanzo bean flour, natural pumpkin, organic sweet potato, organic unsweetened apple sauce, organic cinnamon and antibiotic-free eggs.
Bob says they use 25-30 pounds of flour a day and each pound makes 175 treats that’s up to 5,250 treats shaped like hearts or dog bones. The treats were originally made for their dog Maggie a rescue who needed a healthier diet. The couple did research--spoke with veterinarians.
Bob says, “All told us don’t use any grains.”
“I said why don’t we make our own,” adds Florence.
A year into making the treats the couple now 82 years old decided to make a business out of it.
“I said why don’t we try to sell these. That was a big mistake worked hard past 5 years,” says Florence as she laughs.
Maggie’s Morsels are in 6 Earth Origin stores from Palm Harbor to Fort Myers and 6 local pet stores. They currently working on an order is for Pet Supply Center in Sarasota.
“We can’t keep the shelf. The main thing you can pronounce everything all natural no junk in it no chemical it’s great,” says Darlene Restivo, Pet Supply Center.
Why are natural ingredients important for dogs? Darlene says, “Because so many dogs have allergies.”
Since these treats began because of Maggie she has quality control. They’re so good even people can eat them.
“Delicious! We’ve tried them…a little bland but dogs love them,” says Darlene.
“Maggie’s role when we’re done baking eat all the pieces of dough on the floor she cleans the floor for us,” says Florence.
Bob adds, “She has to taste treats as they come off the cooling table make sure good.”
The couple handles every part of their business. “We bake 'em, we bag 'em, tie them up, put 'em in a box and deliver them,” says Florence.
The Fellows make Vegan treats, blueberry and green bean flavors too. Their grandson Dalton helps out.
Why are they working a business instead of enjoying retirement?
“I told you it was a crazy idea that took off! (laugh) not what I was planning on,” says Florence.
Florence adds, “This tells people in their 80’s and 70’s, it’s not over, you can still be an entrepreneur, doesn’t make a difference, age has nothing to do with it.”
The Fellows say just pick a business you like and help your community.
Bob says, “This is how we choose to help family members got 4 legs (laughs)”
The Fellows say the demand for their dog treats is outgrowing their space. The couple at 82 say they're ready for a real retirement.
As much as they like baking, the couple is ready to sell Maggie's Morsel's Bakery.