Our Little Story
Co-founders Aaron, Scott and Lisa launched Snack at Franks in March 2019. There were two big motives for this - and both those motives had four legs. Scott’s lab, Boris, was not long after serious leg surgery and he found himself in the middle of the night searching the aisles of a supermarket for treats to cheer up a recovering dog. A few days later by chance Scott and Aaron had a chat about this, since Aaron’s own dog Milo (AKA Frank Himself) had some dietary needs that weren’t being met easily.
While chatting they agreed that they were genuinely disappointed with the unhealthy shopping choices also lacking in range and convenience. Was it too much to ask that pups could get something a little special, a little fun, but still with health benefits? Being entrepreneurs they decided to see what they could do about it!
They invited Lisa to meet with them who they’d worked with on previous projects and who was an avid dog parent to her rescue husky Diamond too. She completely agreed with them and decided to talk to other owners she knew. Within a week she’d questioned all the dog walkers in her park about their own frustrations and returned ready to jump in. And so Franks was Go!
Sadly, not long after committing to this project, Aaron’s beloved Milo passed away. But this made him even more determined, not only to change the way people buy dog snacks, but also to explore other ways we can celebrate the all-too short time we have with our pets. In homage to Milo’s memory the entire branding of Franks was soon created and he sits proudly on every pack, combining his funny, fearless nature with a seal of quality for the best snacks; dog snacks and chews worthy of all those good boys and girls.
If the idea of changing the dog snack industry was simple, starting a hybrid product/service company that relies on so many moving parts was not. An awful lot of work needed to go into each and every aspect of planning, production and setting up services before Franks would be ready to meet the public! There was a lot to plan! But there was a genuine problem the cofounders wanted to solve and they were very enthusiastic to build a team to help them.
One of the main problems with ordinary, shop bought snacks they knew, was the amount of filler ingredients used in them that aren’t very nutritious for our dogs, even sometimes causing allergic reactions! For example, did you know for snacks to say they are ‘made with chicken’ they only have to contain 4% chicken! How crazy is that? Another frustration was that reading the labels to actually find quality food. IT was usually like the small print of a contract and just as confusing! And the cost attached to many of these pseudoscience brands was pretty crazy too.
Franks would make it simpler. By sourcing natural, human grade snacks and chews for dogs, they were sure their nutritious offerings would be a hit with every owner who cares about their pup’s health & wellbeing. No huge jargon on labels, just simple honest treats they can eat as small snacks, or between meals. Franks would not only break up large bags of daily routine dinners for fun or reward, but also to help bring a better variety of proteins and nutrients to our pets. Sources they wouldn’t otherwise really get by eating the same thing every day. Caring for their coat, teeth, bones, nails, organs and all the other bits too!
And it wasn’t going to be just about diet either. Franks would give long lasting chews and activity enriching toys to keep minds as well as bodies active. And some cool merch and handy helper items to owners too! Pup parents would get all this every month, enough to not run out, making life better and just that little bit easier. It took some time to get it right, but Aaron was determined that like Milo, all dogs deserved to eat what was best for them, not just what was available! But the real test would be what the pooches themselves thought of it!
By now Franks had their team of coworkers and family helpers; everyone was really excited to launch. They set up park meetups in the city and invited ‘everyone and their dog’ to come and be their taste testers! Few events were so overly and nervously organised! Thankfully, all the treats were an instant success - the dogs couldn’t get enough! The parks were full of excited dogs snuffling and jumping to get more! Not just once, but every time! This was it! They knew they had made the right choice.
The next challenge was about logistics and how to get these great snack products to more dogs. This meant more people to help hand pack each box and a bigger base for everyone to work from. Scott was determined that never again should dog owners have to stand in supermarket aisles in the middle of the night, unless they really liked to stand in supermarket aisles in the middle of the night! They expanded their team of like minded pup enthusiasts - including their four legged tasters and testers - and everyone turned their attention to setting up production and delivery. Every tiny detail was looked at in turn, including listing the size and shape of every letterbox used in the UK, perfecting the snack sizes for a range of mouths and how long a long lasting chew actually lasts for!
If Scott wanted a quality service, and Aaron wanted a quality product, Lisa wanted a quality service & product that was also useful to a busy lifestyle and family routine. As well as her work with Franks, she also ran a charity teaching kids so always struggled to find the time to buy the right snacks for her husky Diamond. She felt she was sometimes settling for subpar quality snacks because they were easier to pick up. If she’d forget and run out of snacks she’d even share tidbits that probably weren’t so great for Diamond - replacing snack guilt with parenting guilt! Nothing terrible but things you probably wouldn’t be too excited to tell the vet about! Diamond being an agility, working breed, she wanted Franks to offer snacks that aided energy, avoided obesity and a service that meant she’d never run out ever again (and could always look the vet in the eye when Diamond was weighed).
But these reasons are the tip of the iceberg compared to what Franks have learnt from pet parents since its launch. We’ve worked with Vet advisers, dog psychologists, dieticians, testers, charities, influencers, affiliates, and an ever growing membership community. We’ve met literally thousands of amazing dogs along the way, discovering a wealth of motives, breed needs, pet parent wants, lifestyle choices, medical requirements and other reasons for making dog box subscriptions an important if still fairly new part of our dogs lives. The bottomline being: just like us, they need and thrive on variety, in diet, play and exploratory activity. And everything we’ve learnt is put into creating and expanding Snack at Franks.
It’s been a really amazing journey, and sometimes challenging, as any new company launching is. Except more so, if you’re launching just as Brexit and Covid hit the UK! There have been tears! But Franks is always up for a challenge, always determined and always learning new tricks! Especially from our growing community of members. We’ve loved every minute of that. We are grateful to all those, the absolute village, who have helped shape and guide us. And we especially love our members and their dogs, some of whom have been with us from the start.
So as we enter this new year, we have become even more determined to build a stronger community that benefits from each other's knowledge, and it seems, unending kindness. We are excited to keep our community up to date with the latest dog tips, events, news, offers, competitions, games and entertainment. As a small company, we can’t always jump online immediately to join in the fun as much as we’d like too, but we are always, always, behind the scenes focusing on what really matters - our dog’s happiness and our members' satisfaction.
We can proudly, unashamedly say that our customer service is almost as famous as our snacks now. Something we were told by bigger companies we should automate, but have refused to do. Our business is our customer, and we know this matters because we are constantly approached by charities, affiliates, influencers and people wanting to work with us, represent us and, thankfully, award us too! And we know this because so many of our members stay with us, enjoying the, sometimes goofy monthly themes, the new surprises and products, and our ability to pass the benefits of loyalty on to them too.
Since its beginning our story of Franks has been a small story about the world our dogs share with us. From the majestic to the ridiculous things they do, from wolves to workers, from friends to family, everything we do is to celebrate and enjoy us humans living with dogs.
Franks exists solely #ForTheWoof.
Organisation we have been honoured to support.
We are proud to show our support for non-profit and charity organisations working tirelessly to help improve the lives of our pups and pet parents in the UK. So far we have been fortunate enough to be able to donate to over 300 organisations throughout the UK, so only a small portion of them are listed here! We would encourage any of our visitors to visit some these groups and see just how amazing they are.
Amazing People We Love!
Thank you all!
Know an organisation that should be listed?
We can't donate to every organisation, but we will be delighted to help share your campaigns, stories & links on social. So please get in touch anytime! And on behalf of Franks, thank you for the great work you do, you total legends.