Halifax pet food company that turned down Dragons Den offer is on track to double in size this year

Co-founders Dan and Mat started Pure Pet Food with a £300 Calderdale Council grant and an overdraft. The company has since sold over 30 million dog meals, employs over 70 people and is on track to double in size this year.
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2024 marks nine years since Pure Pet Food turned down £40,000 on Dragons Den, but despite the controversial decision the business has gone from strength to strength.

The business began in Halifax when Mat and Dan couldn’t understand why dogs were fed little brown biscuits for every meal, every day.

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Months of research led them to an age-old preservation method of gently removing the moisture from food, resulting in natural, high-quality, convenient meals without any harmful processing.

15,000 sq ft facility15,000 sq ft facility
15,000 sq ft facility
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Owners simply add water and serve to create a natural low processed food that can be served in seconds without the need for freezer space, mess or clean-up.

The pair admit that family and friends thought they were mad at first, but it was Dan and Mat’s belief in the product and their passion for pets, health and nutrition that kept them going.

Mat said: “When we first started, our office space was Dan’s mum's spare room, and we celebrated each day when an order was placed; Dan even knew most of the customer's names!

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"To think that we now work from a 15,000 sq ft food facility and send out an artic lorry of personalised orders each day is mind-blowing.”

The business got its break almost a decade ago when it appeared on Dragons Den.

Dan was famously asked to try the food on national TV.

The Dragons loved the pitch and the pair were offered investment from Deborah Meaden and Kelly Hoppen but decided to turn it down.

At the time, they were told it was a decision they would live to regret, but from that point onwards, things only got better.

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Dan said: “We’ve come a long way from creating recipes in my mum's kitchen. Although we may have grown, what drives us remains the same: to provide happier, healthier, and longer lives for our pets.”

Pure has trebled in size last year, employs over 70 people and will be recruiting to take that number to over 100 this year.