Furry Friends Rejoice! Healthy Dog Treats Available Across Canada
Growing up as a Chinese-Canadian in Toronto, Susan Lee-Macdonald had the chance to experience different cuisines with unique textures and flavours. She continued her food adventures after becoming a flight attendant, travelling around the globe in search for the most delectable cuisines.
“It was all about searching for delicious foods. From hummus, fish, and veggies in Tel Aviv, to fish balls and mangos in Hong Kong, I learned that the best quality food came from the caring farmers and local sources. Both texture and flavour are determined not only by how fresh the ingredients are, but also how they are cultivated and grown with the farm-to-table practice.”
Susan turned her passion for food into a business idea when she, along with her family, adopted their dog Dumpling. After multiple failed attempts at finding a safe and delicious snack for Dumpling, Susan decided to make her own healthy one-ingredient dog treats. These treats soon became a crowd-pleaser within the neighbourhood and prompted Susan and her family to create Dumpling’s Treats. Dumpling’s Treats is now a family-run business that takes pride in making quality dog treats using human-grade ingredients.
A huge marketing opportunity came for Dumpling’s Treats when they won the chance to be featured at 3 Toronto Raptors games and multiple digital billboards in Downtown Toronto. However, they did not have a viable website at the time and desperately needed an online store to redirect their prospective customers to. That is when Susan signed up for the ShopHERE Powered by Google Program to help build an eCommerce website.
“We really needed a professional website and had no budget to accomplish this. We won a Raptors small business contest and got exposure that any business would have been envious of. However, it would have been a complete waste if we had not had a website.”
Susan needed to put together a website within 2 weeks, and she accomplished this with the help of eCommerce Coordinator Barbara. They got to work immediately to create a beautiful Shopify store that showcases both the products and the adorable, four-legged customers who enjoyed eating them. Barbara was extremely helpful throughout the entire set-up process and worked swiftly to meet the tight project timeline. Susan was blown away by Barbara’s work ethic and professionalism and couldn’t be happier with her ShopHERE experience.
“Barbara was beyond amazing, I would not have guessed that she was a student. She must have had previous work experience! Honestly, she was incredible: efficient, professional and always willing to help. Barbara went above our expectations.”
Susan found the website-building process incredibly easy and the new online store allowed her to reach customers across Canada. The ShopHERE Program has also given her the confidence to approach retail stores to expand her business; Dumpling’s Treats can now be found at multiple online and offline retailers across Ontario. Moving forward, Susan recognizes the challenges of operating her online store and continues to learn everything about eCommerce and digital marketing.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 in Southern Ontario.