Do Your Research When Picking a Vendor Partner

By Sara Herr

Owner, Pup Pops®

Choosing the right vendors has a HUGE impact on the success of your business.

Whether you are a local start-up shop or an established global company, choosing the right vendors to partner with has a HUGE impact on the success of your business. We’re talking about quality, integrity and, at the end of the day, cost. But don’t just take our word for it. Green Onion Creative client, Pup Pops®, shares their story on the lengthy research that has gone into finding the right fit to help produce their refreshing, all-natural, low-fat, low-calorie frozen treats that support the health of your dog.

A labor of love: Sara's Pup Pops story

As the owner and founder of Pup Pops, I have been working on many aspects of product development for a number of years. Dually, I have attempted to secure a manufacturer that is empathetic to the small business … the start-up … the one-woman show with a limited budget paying out of pocket with the help of a number of jobs.

In my hunt for a manufacturing fit, I needed to search for a number of key components. It is essential for my manufacturing partner to be:

  • An FDA-approved facility

  • Have specific equipment (i.e., a vertical form fill sealing machine)

  • Have the ability to fill wet ingredients

  • And is willing to complete small runs

Oh, and local is best too, right? Not an easy feat.

I spent many hours of online research looking at manufacturing companies across the U.S. Making it even more difficult, most manufacturers working with pet foods primarily focus on dry matter products. And the companies that have the capabilities are not willing to bat an eyelash if you don’t plan to make 100,000 units on your first run to line their pockets.

I have talked to many companies and had a number of sit-down meetings varying from 15 miles to thousands of miles away. I had to get a sense of the facility, owner, production crew, daily operations, etc., before I was willing to make a decision that meets my high quality standards, maintains the integrity of my products and wouldn’t drain my bank account.

Some I liked but were out of my price range and some did not feel right in my gut … until I started working with a manufacturer in East Troy, Wis. They are a smaller manufacturing company willing to take a chance on Pup Pops with a nice blend of business sense, manufacturing experience, proper equipment and a hometown heart. Finally, a good match!

We completed our first mini run and stumbled upon some minor packaging and formulation issues but have fixed them as we prepare for our second run.

Watch for Pup Pops in local Milwaukee businesses, all-natural stores, pet stores and pet-related events soon.

Learn more about Pup Pops

Click here to visit the Pup Pops website.

Need help finding a vendor? Let Green Onion lend a hand.

If too much of your time is spent talking to vendors instead of serving your customers or clients, the Green Onion Creative bunch can help. We pride ourselves on our vendor relations and project management know-how so we can serve as a liaison between your existing vendors and find new partners who can help contribute to your success!

Want a quote? Then let’s talk.