Raw pet food company, Bella & Duke, has phenomenal expansion plans having undergone significant growth, reporting revenues of £11 million in the last financial year. That growth will happen in Fife, following the business’ decision to move its manufacturing and distribution hubs to the region in May 2021. Inverkeithing is the new home to the operational side of the business, while a new headquarters for the administrative and educational side of the business, will open in Rosyth in September 2021.
The multi-million-pound business relocated to Fife primarily for its easy access to Scotland’s motorway network, enabling it to get its food orders to major hubs for following day distribution. The region’s untapped labour market was also an appeal.
Bella & Duke, a brand of nutritional raw dog and cat food sold via subscription, is taking the UK and Northern Ireland by storm. Launched in July 2017 by friends, and now, business partners, Mark Scott and Tony Ottley, Bella and Duke has transformed from a small, home kitchen-based manufacturer to a significant multi-million pound manufacturer and distributor.
In May 2021, Bella & Duke consolidated all its business operations, which included a manufacturing facility in Suffolk, and a distribution hub in Perth, in to one facility, based in Inverkeithing, Fife. The new 34,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and distribution centre is undergoing significant investment, totalling about £4 million. A 500-pallet freezer, as well as a £2 million cold store, are being created, creating plenty of space from which to grow.
In September 2021, Bella & Duke will also open Parklife HQ, a 10,000 sq. ft. headquarters at Arrol House, Rosyth, Fife, which will be the base for its administrative functions but will also offer an educational centre, where its specialist teams can inform industry experts on pet wellness, as it strives to improve the lives of dogs and cats by providing them with a species-appropriate diet.
Mark and Tony established Bella & Duke following the heartbreak they had both had to endure when their beloved family pets died young from cancer. That was the catalyst for the pair, who with backgrounds in business and the meat industry, set about examining the products and ingredients that go into dog food, and quickly discovered that the processed food their dogs had eaten their whole lives may have caused their illness.
Bella & Duke delivers 2.5 million meals a month of raw dog and cat food all around the UK direct to customers’ homes, made in its Inverkeithing kitchen to recipes developed with animal nutritionists and checked by vets.
Total employee numbers have risen to 100, and further growth is projected. A recent £7 million injection into the business from a consortium of investors will accelerate its marketing campaign, as the business projects a run rate of £50 million in two years.
Bella & Duke sought to bring all its operations under one roof at a Scottish location. It engaged with InvestFife, home of Fife Council Economic Development Service, early in the process for help with its property search, as well as to see what funding may be available to support its relocation. It has been a team approach with Scottish Enterprise awarding Bella & Duke an RSA Grant to assist the project, which has created 49 new jobs. Business Gateway Fife provided Expert Help to resolve the lack of fast broadband that the business encountered on moving into the facility, and InvestFife was also able to introduce Bella & Duke to its Trading Standards and DEFRA teams.
In addition, Bella & Duke won Scottish Edge funding in 2017, and is part of Scale Up Scotland, a programme designed to support fellow entrepreneurs to build world class, scalable businesses by sharing experience, access, and networks to drive dynamic growth.
Bella & Duke is a dynamic, driven and dog-mad company that is going places. It’s established itself as a leading UK manufacturing brand, as well as one of the most nutritional dog and cat food providers. Its investment into its new manufacturing and distribution centre, combined with its investment into its marketing, puts the business in an extremely strong position to capitalise further in the raw feeding market.
“We chose Fife as a location for our growth due to its easy access to the Scottish motorway network, which enables us to get our orders to major hubs for next day distribution. We also hope to recruit from the local untapped and enthusiastic labour market.”
“InvestFife has been extremely proactive and encouraging in supporting Bella & Duke’s move to Inverkeithing, Fife. They have introduced us to key partners, including Business Gateway Fife, and made the challenging task of consolidating a number of facilities, that bit easier.”
“One of our biggest challenges when moving into the manufacturing and distribution facility was the lack of electricity and of proper broadband. Business Gateway Fife’s Expert Help programme was able to help us resolve the broadband problem.”
“The business has grown significantly since we launched in July 2017 because today, pets are more and more an integral part of the family. Pet Parents only want the best for their furry companions, they want to feed what nature intended so that they live long and happy lives, and we at Bella & Duke are proud to be on that journey with them.”
Mark Scott, Director of Bella & Duke