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Jul 05, 2016

Hawke's Bay beef jerky treat proves a winning business

Four Hawke's Bay students are turning their love for dogs into a business.


Brennagh Mullins, Gemma Burnside, Lucy Treseder and Emma Wilson all year 12 students from Iona College, are making their own healthy beef jerky for dogs.

Ruff Tucker began when they were thinking of a business idea for the Young Enterprise Scheme earlier this year.

They all loved their animals and wanted to make healthy dog biscuits, but that proved too difficult with significant start-up cost and ingredients to secure.

Instead they decided on beef jerky– a one-ingredient product they could make themselves.

All four grew up on farms and saw injured bulls deemed unsuitable for an abattoir used to feed working dogs.

They decided this meat could be dried to make a healthy dog treat and reduce waste at the same time.

"We trialled a few methods of making jerky, drying it in the sun and with a fan," Gemma said, but they settled on drying the meat in an oven.

So far they have had one production weekend where they cut and baked the meat for three hours at 70 degrees, then fan dried and bagged it with labels designed by Brennagh.

"It was a long day. We started at 9am and finished at 7.30pm," Emma said. "It was satisfying to see them all packed."


This created more than 70 recyclable bags weighing 150 grams and selling for $10 each. Three weeks after launching 55 bags were already sold.


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