In 2006, Joe and I returned to Ontario, where we were both born and raised, after living in the US for five years. Caledon seemed like the perfect place to raise our young family. Within the year, a unique business opportunity fell into our laps and the decision was made to purchase a small dog treat company. Joe embodied the entrepreneurial spirit needed to take an idea and turn it into a thriving business while I, a former teacher and stay at home mother of four, went along for the ride. After researching the pet treat category further, we quickly realized there were not many companies in Canada making single ingredient dog treats. The brand we would establish would specialize in quality, natural dog treats with the fewest ingredients, sourced only within Canada or the United States. Within the month, The Crump Group was incorporated and the Crumps’ Naturals brand was born.
Outfitted with a 20’ cube van truck, a commercial oven, refrigerator and meat slicer, we began production in our garage in Caledon, Ontario. While Joe busied himself with sales calls by day, and a full time job by night, I sliced, baked and packaged liver while managing a busy household. In the early days, two products were established: Traditional and Garlic Liver Fillets and a small following of Canadian Veterinary offices and independent retail stores provided the much needed “bread and butter” to support our newly formed company.
Before long, the orders grew and a few friends were hired to help. The goal was to grow the business locally while gradually expanding distribution channels into the broader Canadian market. By 2007, the packaging was re-designed and a third product, Beef Liver Sprinkles was developed. An addition was made to the existing garage and a couple of more ovens were added.
The Crumps’ Naturals brand would soon find its way to the United States. For the next five years, Joe and I would attend countless consumer, distributor and trade shows in an effort to establish the Crumps’ Naturals brand. During this time, Crumps’ Sweet Potato Chews was developed as a safe rawhide replacement and to meet the needs of the many dogs with allergies. Today, Sweet Potato Chews are the company’s bestselling product.
By 2010 we outgrew our humble beginnings and moved to a 6,000 square foot space in Caledon, Ontario. More ovens were added, along with a few more employees, allowing us to ramp up production. Before long, Beef Tendersticks was launched. In November of 2012, we underwent restructuring and sold a portion of our shares to a Canadian investment group. With additional capital, we were able to quickly grow. In January of 2013, new product trials began and the Sweet Potato Strips line was launched. That same year, we relocated to a larger facility in Brampton, Ontario.
With the goal of obtaining food safety certification in mind, the facility was completely renovated to accommodate and support a rigorous food safety program. In February of 2014, we obtained a globally recognized food safety certification (SQF, Level 2) for making safe, quality dog treats. We will continue to undergo annual, third party audits, as part of our commitment to food safety.
Currently, The Crump Group employs fifty people and sells its products across Canada and the United States. In May of 2014, we attended Interzoo in Germany, one of the largest pet industry trade shows in the world, where we were finalists for an Innovative Products Award. The Crumps’ Naturals brand was extremely well received and plans are in place to launch the products in Europe by January 2015.
A lot has changed since our modest start in a garage in Caledon, Ontario, but a great deal has remained the same. The Crump Group maintains a family feel with Joe and I at the helm, our children pitching in at various consumer shows, and a fantastic group of people dedicated to the company’s success. The Crump Group will continue to create new products that are unique, natural and healthy. We look forward to what the future brings.
We thank you for your support.