MELBOURNE NEWS

Economy

West Melbourne pet bakery finds the recipe for small business success

26 February 2024

When Cookie the Yorkshire terrier was diagnosed with a liver condition that meant she couldn’t enjoy store-bought dog food or treats, her doting owner set about creating her own. 

Starting out in a small CBD apartment in 2015, Meg Cai, began by baking a canine-friendly birthday cake for Cookie. 
 
Cookie declared the cake a success and before long the former banker-turned-baker began creating feline-friendly treats too to cater for her two rescue cats Heihei (meaning black) and Huahua (meaning tabby). 

Meg’s friends and family started placing orders for Meg to bake drool-icious delights for their pampered pets. 
 
But it was during the lockdowns of 2020 that saw business boom for Supaw Pet Bakery, with pet parents looking for a special way to celebrate their pampered pooches and cute cats. 
 
What was once a small home-based business has grown into a seven-day-a-week commercial operation delivering baked treats Australia-wide. 

Whether it’s for birthdays, gotcha days or just because days, Supaw Pet Bakery has a celebration cake to suit your fur-baby.

With business expanding, Meg engaged the assistance of friend, Leo Leng, to help the business scale-up. Leo had previously shared a house with Meg and her husband Frank Liu, before moving to live overseas, often taking care of their pets. 

Three people. One is holding a cake, one is holding a dog.
Bakery staff Yicheng, Leo and Kriselle with pampered pooch, Evie.


 Leo came on board as director of business in 2023, putting his Masters qualifications from Melbourne Business School to good use.
 
Leo said there was only one pet bakery in London and none in Paris, attributing Melbourne’s diversity to the successful customer base Supaw Pet Bakery has been able to grow. 

“Plus, it’s the bond we create between the pets and their humans. We’re not like a pet store, we take pets and their humans on an emotional journey,” he said. 

Meg’s recipe is a tightly-guarded secret but she said the cakes are made of human-graded pet-friendly natural ingredients and can include chia seeds, organic beetroot, turmeric, wheatgrass, flax seeds, spirulina, pumpkin, and sweet potato. 
 
They are 100% natural, grain-free cakes that can be customised with a topper of your pet’s face. 

A dog and a cake that has the dog's face on it
Alfie the French bulldog with a cake featuring his customised portrait.

 
Supaw also stocks a range of purr-fect pet treats that are sugar-free and grain-free, and made of premium ingredients including air-dried dehydrated fish, chicken tenderloin jerky, shark cartilage dental chews and green tripe. 

City of Melbourne Small Business Grants

Supaw Pet Bakery is one of 24 local businesses to receive a Small Business Grant from the City of Melbourne to either expand existing operations or kickstart new ventures in 2024. 
 
An electric motorbike showroom, a boutique bag shop using upcycled prints, and a digital health company developing game-based virtual reality therapeutics to assist with limb loss are set to liven up shopfronts across the City of Melbourne – supporting local jobs and driving visitation.     
 
These grants are designed to support businesses to set up in empty shopfronts or improve their offerings through fit-out works.

A wall of photos of pets and cakes featuring their faces.
A wall of very happy customers.

Leo said “thanks to this grant our pet bakery, specialising in unique birthday cakes, can now expand its capacity”.  
 
“This means more joy for Melbourne’s pets and their owners,” he said. 

“We will use the grant to invest in technology and equipment plus increase the size of our team, expanding from only operational staff to also house a marketing team.” 
 
Pre-order a pet birthday cake or visit Supaw Pet Bakery to choose your treats – you might even get to meet Cookie. 

A white dog being held next to a cupcake of the dog's face
Evie with her personalised cake topper.

Learn more about our Small Business Grants

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26 February 2024
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