Puppy love launches business career

Puppy love launches business career

 Commerce is a piece of cake for Aaron 

A dog’s first birthday was the catalyst that launched a Trinity entrepreneur on his first business venture. 

Aaron S (11La) went looking for a cake to celebrate the birthday of his caramel Labrador Coco but couldn’t find what he wanted. 

So he ended up trying to fill the gap in the market himself, launching Canine Cakes, a business which manufactures, markets and distributes the product he was once so desperate to lay his hands on.


The budding businessman had already been studying in his own time for three years at Miniboss Australia, a business school designed to nurture young entrepreneurs. 

All he needed was the right idea —– and the pet treats proved to be his light-bulb moment. 

His business plan won a $1000 national competition and gained him entry to the international component in July in Glasgow, Scotland. 

There he made a “nerve-wracking”, six-minute pitch to a panel of 36 judges before an audience of around 1000 people before answering questions from the judges.


He and his business partner Shanzay, a 13-year-old Tamworth girl and Miniboss colleague, impressed them sufficiently to win the £1000 second prize against competitors from 30 countries. 

When Aaron first went looking for dog cakes he found that the big supermarkets didn’t stock any, and the only brand available in a pet shop was too big and too expensive. 

“It cost from $28 – $35 and I didn’t feel I could spend that much,” he said. 

“I found recipes online but you had to buy ingredients in bulk in 1kg bags. There were shipping costs, too, of $90, so it wasn’t really worth it. That’s when I came up with the idea.” 

He registered his business name and logo, got an ABN, and asked an animal nutritionist to verify that his cakes were “100 per cent safe” for consumption – by humans as well as animals.


He described the cakes as moist, chewy, and fairly plain by human taste standards. 

He stressed they were not meant to be a meal for dogs but a treat which “must be part of a balanced diet”. 

The entrepreneurial spirit runs in the family; he is from a Malaysian background and from a young age worked after school in the Indian and Asian foods business started by his grandparents and run by his parents. 

He spends on average 4 – 6 hours a week running his business and admits: “It does get difficult at times juggling it when I’m doing exams and assessments.” 

His canine cake mix cost $15 for one packet, $28 for two or $40 for three. 

It includes wholemeal self-raising flour, coconut milk powder, and carob powder, and the “icing” can include potato mash, carob buttons, peanut butter, and added dog treats. 

Aaron has found that the dogs who tend to like his cakes most are those that don’t have a lot of meat in their diet. 

He now has his own website: www.thecaninecakes.com  

This article originally appeared in our December 2023 Edition of Trinity News which you can view on our online digital bookshelf.

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