Business Spotlight: Phipps specializes in pet treats, food

Jeremy Phipps, owner of Kennedy’s Biscuits located in the breezeway at Frankfort Plaza, 815 Louisville Road, holds a bag of dog food offered at the store. Phipps says ingredients are on the front of the bag rather than in small print on the back. (Photo by Phil Case)

Named for a favorite dog that died at age 8, Kennedy’s Biscuits features Jeremy Phipps’ unique brand of food and treats. Located in the breezeway at the back of the Frankfort Plaza on Louisville Road, Phipps has been in business for three years.

“We started in a little 400-square-foot space right up there,” he said, pointing to a spot across from the barbershop. “We needed a place where the product could be unloaded, so we moved back here.”

The current location has about 2,000 square feet with a loading dock.

He’d really like to have a place downtown, “but the loading situation is a challenge there, too.”

Like many startup businesses, Kennedy’s Biscuits began of necessity after Phipps started reading the ingredients labels on bags of commercial dog and cat food.

“All I can say is that there were some horrible things in those bags,” he said.

He started making batches of treats and found that his dog and the pets of friends really liked them. A former worker at Toyota in Georgetown, Phipps decided marketing was in order.

“We haven’t done a lot of advertising so far,” he said. “The word’s just gotten around via word-of-mouth and Facebook.”

Phipps said he wants to offer top-notch products that aren’t necessarily cheap but feature quality ingredients.

“As you can see,” he said, pointing to the display shelf, “what the customer sees is a list of the ingredients, not a pretty picture on the bag. If you turn some of those commercial bags over, you’ll be shocked by what’s inside. I don’t want people to be distracted by a picture; I want them to know what they are getting.”

He says, too, that all the food he sells is fresh — most just weeks from being bagged and straight from the manufacturer to the store.

“I want people to know that what they’re getting here for their pets is about as fresh as it can be. It hasn’t been sitting in a warehouse or on a shelf for months, maybe even a year or more.”

Food comes in 10- or 20-pound bags, but Phipps points out the barrels where consumers can purchase a pound or two, just what they need. “They know it’s really fresh!”

Kennedy’s Biscuits started with a very small customer base, Phipps said, and continues to grow.

“I’m pleased to say people who’ve tried our products also come back. It’s really amazing and can help pets with allergies, skin problems — whatever. Their little systems are just like ours, and if they have problems, they need to be attended to — and we all know good nutrition helps.”

Phipps says the work usually isn’t too hard except on days when shipments arrive and must be unloaded and stacked in the back room.

“But I love it and I don’t really look at it as work. The store is still a work in progress, and we’ve been at least partially intentional about growing it that way. Along with our excellent products, I want us to retain our great reputation of great service.”

Kennedy’s even offers delivery.

“It’s more about providing a good option for health for pets. We’re not making a lot (of money), but we’re getting by. People are responding to our efforts.”

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