Edmonton Entrepreneur Spotlight: Skye Klappstein of Mutt Munch
Who likes to spoil their pets with delicious treats? If you followed the Dog Jogs 12 days of Pet Giveaways back in December, you might recognize our next spotlight guest. They have been in the pet industry for a while and is one of Dog Jogs’ longest-running friends in the pet business. We know that Mutt Munch is one of Edmonton’s favourite dog and cat treat companies! We are so excited to hang out with the owner, and operator, Skye Klappstein. Let’s see what Skye has been up to and what she’s currently working on.
DJ: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
SK: My name is Skye, I’m 28 years old and the owner of Mutt Munch. I have a wonderful husband and an adorable 9 month old daughter named Avia. I enjoy long naps and travelling, and if it was humanly possible I’d live off of only pizza and eggnog. I’m obsessed with true crime and horror movies. One day I hope to visit the Gold Coast of Australia and get my surf on.
DJ: How did you get started with your business?
SK: Before I got involved in the dog community I was a millwright (an industrial mechanic). After a couple years I realized even though the work paid great I was missing out on life. I was always working long days, and spending weeks at a time out of town away from friends and family.
I left my trade behind and decided to open up a dog walking business, Tail Wagger Dog Walking. Being outside and surrounded by dogs was a dream, so I made it a successful reality. After a few years of dog walking I got restless again, and felt the urge to try a new business venture.
After much hemming and hawing it came to mind that a good transition would be to try making pet treats. Through all my clients as a dog walker, I saw the many different health conditions pets went through and the big empty spot in our local community for healthy, delicious treats. So I jumped on the opportunity and here we are 3+ years on!
DJ: How did you come up with the name for your business?
SK: We did a lot of googling and brainstorming. It took maybe a week or so but once we put Mutt Munch on the table it was a done deal!
DJ: Is this your full-time gig?
SK: It was my full-time job but since becoming a first time mum I am trying to navigate the balance between being a stay at home mom and business owner. It’s definitely brought some challenges to the table and I’ve had to take a bit of a maternity leave.
DJ: How has COVID affected your business?
SK: I think we’ve been pretty lucky during this pandemic. I was pretty sad about missing out on the 2020 market season, but since I was getting into the groove of being a new parent it was in many ways a blessing in disguise.
The cancellation of the markets was offset by a surge of new customers through our online store, and that has been amazing. The increased interest completely blew all of our expectations out of the water and I’m so grateful to our loyal customers. I’ve missed doing markets but I know it’s for the best and we’re hoping we will be back to see everyone in 2021!
DJ: What are some of the philosophies of or inspirations for your business?
SK: Our philosophy is to provide a high quality, handmade dog treat that is both delicious and nutritious. Commercial dog treats focus on being tasty and sacrifice the nutrition or add gnarly preservatives (do you really want your dog eating butylated hydroxytoluene?). We asked ourselves, why not have both? Turns out you can have both by using fresh, all-natural products, along with a bit of science (see below). Further, to help owners with sensitive allergies, we keep to 7 ingredients or less.
DJ: Tell us a bit about your process of making dog treats.
SK: One key secret is that we first gently heat treat and then dehydrate our goodies to ensure they are food safe and have an incredibly long shelf life without the need for any preservatives. It makes the creation process more time consuming, but also allows us to provide treats with no additives that don’t easily spoil.
DJ: What is your favourite product to make?
SK: When we make the peanut butter pumpkin biscuits, our house fills up with the wonderful smells of toasted nuts and spicy pumpkin. It’s a wonderful scent that almost makes one forget they are slaving over a hot oven.
DJ: What is your bestseller?
SK: Our bestseller is our CBD Bacon Bites, but our cheese and liver biscuits are a close second.
DJ: Where can people buy your product?
SK: We are selling through our online store located at www.muttmunch.ca
DJ: What are some of your future plans?
SK: We want to focus on increasing our online presence and streamline some of production to allow us to more easily keep up with the increased demand.
DJ: Upcoming product releases?
SK: Due to the unprecedented demand for our CBD treats, we will be branching out into some new flavours in addition to our Bacon Bites and our Banana Chip treats. Watch our website and social media for their launch!
DJ: Tell us about your pets:
SK: Oslo – male lab/husky dog, aka ‘Ozzy’, 2.5 years old. He barks at every dog or animal on our TV, even if its from an abstract painting or animation.
Brussels – male maine coon cat, aka ‘Brubs’, 3.5 years old. He has the uncanny ability to open doors (lever handle, which is almost all the doors in our house!).
Aurora – female kitten, aka ‘little kitty’, 6 months old. Both completely adorable and a total terror!
DJ: What are your favourite activities to do with your pet?
SK: Snuggle! We also enjoy taking our dog to the dog park so he can gallop around with his friends.
DJ: Does your dog play a role in your business?
Ozzy is our initial taste tester. He is also a product thief when the hubby leaves the wrong cupboard open or stuff too close to the edge.
We thank Skye again of Mutt Munch for spending some time with us and answering all of our questions. Do your pets have a favourite Mutt Munch treat? Feel free to share some photos of your pet enjoying their favourite treats on our Facebook page.
Know of an amazing local pet business that you would like to see featured next? Let us know!