Name and role: Simon Brown, Director
Company: Sniffers Pet Care
Describe what your business does?
Sniffers Pet Care is a family owned business with 40 years’ experience in the independent pet trade. It supplies wholesale pet trade accounts as well as producing its own brand range, Buffalo Natural Dog Treats. As a company, we hold the UK and Ireland distribution rights for the Bow Wow range, we also carry niche offerings including Monster Chocs (a range of dog-friendly chocolate) and Vitapol (treats for small animals and caged birds).
How many staff do you employ?
We employ seven members of staff, four of which joined the team following our 2019 expansion to our current 6,259 sq ft HQ in Huddersfield.
What does your role entail?
My role as director sees me leading all business strategy and commercial activity within the business. Since I joined Sniffers, in 2017, the business has enjoyed a 25% year on year growth, and we’ve launched our new own brand, Buffalo Natural Dog Treats.
What attracted you to start/operate your business in Huddersfield?
Sniffers have been based in Huddersfield for the past 20 years, the area has always been an optimal location for its operations. My family are from Stainland so being accessible was key.
Originally, Sniffers was based in Kingsgate Shopping Centre in Huddersfield town centre, then moved on to a unit in Milnsbridge, before settling in to our current home at the £3m Bridge Business Park in January 2019 with some well-known neighbours such as Mamas and Papas.
Name some of your biggest business achievements:
My biggest achievement to date has to be launching Buffalo Natural Dog Treats. Taking the idea from concept, through development, to being on the shelves of the UK’s biggest pet retailer has been a fantastic journey. The brand expanded from bulk in last September to include a shelf ready range of 14 different products. It’s been fantastic to see our own brand grow, hopefully we can continue to develop the range!
As the name suggests, the range contains Indian water buffalo; in fact, we’re possibly the UK’s biggest importer of Indian water buffalo, bringing in around 500 tonnes a year.
Another great achievement is Sniffers Pet Care becoming an established employer in the local area. We love being based in Huddersfield and are proud to do our bit for the local area and support the local business community.
What advice would you give to someone looking to set up or relocate their business in Huddersfield?
My main piece of advice would be to consider where your business might be in three years’ time and what needs it may have then. For example, will the location be suitable to growing logistics requirements? Our current location is ideally placed for access to the M62 which has been vital as we have grown over the years.
What are your hopes for Huddersfield 10 years from now (2030)?
I hope that the high street survives and is revived through the plans the Council have. Seeing the Huddersfield Blueprint through is essential for the future of the town’s retail. The developments to Kingsgate, Kings Street, New Street and further afield will be a welcome boost to the local economy and culture. The high street is such a crucial element of retail and the impact of it disappearing would have a disastrous effect on the town.
On a personal level, what do you love most about the town?
The diversity – you can be in the busy town centre and then in the heart of the countryside within a few miles. When I worked in London prior to joining Sniffers, I felt I came back to life as soon as I escaped the capital and arrived back in Huddersfield. It’s just a less hectic and stressful way of life up here!
Where is your favourite place to eat/drink in Huddersfield?
Devour in Holmfirth. The handmade pasta is delicious!
Are there any recommendations or local knowledge you’d like to share with a visitor?
Definitely check out Devour, couldn’t recommend it more.