Stephen Smith - Green Treats LTD

Green Treat LTD Facts

Name(s) of Business Owners:

Stephen Smith


Green Treats LTD

Number of Employees:


Famous for:

Pet treat manufacturing and process consultancy to the food industry

What Supports Were Provided by The Local Enterprise Office?

Priming Grant, Management Development Programme (MDP)

Our Location:

Arklow. Co. Wicklow

Our Website:

Our contact details for Public Relations:



1. What year did you start your business and what can you tell us about those early days and how it all started? Green Treat

Green treats were set up in late 2019. Its owner was working in the manufacturing of pet treats for 18 years. We as a company identified a gap in the market for natural and vegan treats for pets. We also identified a gap in product development for other pet food companies and other food manufacturing plants in process and process improvements.

2. What were the high points and low points in those early days, when you were a start-up?

We have been lucky that we have not any low points in the start up as we have been able to use our different disciplines in process and product development to supplement the low points. Being able to adjust to the markets and adapt was key.

3. What was your big ‘break-through’ moment?

When we got our big contracts with Glanbia and Tonisity International. We did this by using our product development skills and rapid prototyping. Also getting out AP 15 licence and BRC approval in a short time.  Plus, a licence to supply china and the USA was a great step.

4. Your Local Enterprise Office (LEO) has supported your business. Tell us about these supports and what impact they have had?

We got great help from LEO on the priming grant. Annette could not do enough for us. The match funding allowed me to manage my cash flow and give me the option to buy better equipment and free up my money to buy raw material to ramp up production.  

5. How has your company been preparing for Brexit? Did you receive any assistance from LEO Wicklow?

We have employed an officer to deal with this. We have got all our exports permits in place and tariff codes in place. Brexit is not really having an affect on us as we got prepared and have the knowledge on site to deal with it.

6. 2020 has been a very difficult year for SMEs with the COVID-19 Pandemic. How has your company responded?

We responded by evolving around the problems as they came. Some orders where postponed so we used our process consultancy to other factories to supplement this. We also developed products for other pet food companies on our equipment. COVID-19 in our case had a positive effect on growth.

7. Are you optimistic about the future?

Yes, we are very positive about the future as we now have customers worldwide. We are consulting for IRISH DOG FOODS, Sweden care Clonbio and many more. We are supplying into all mainland Europe, China, and the USA. The key will be able to change to the demands of the market and innovate new products to stay ahead.

8. What’s next on the business agenda for your company?

We would like to look at bigger premises and put in more production lines.

9. In the future, what will be the biggest challenges facing Irish businesses?

I think cash flow and the high cost of manufacturing in Ireland especially insurance and the increase of the price of raw materials and shipping; it’s all a vicious circle at the moment. The government need to give more PAYE tax breaks and more funding for helping to get good staff. VAT rates. The cost of electricity has gone up so running costs will go up. The running costs are key on the bottom line when they keep moving it makes it hard to calculate your margin.  

10. What’s the best piece of advice you got about running a business?

Just in a few words innovate and adapt. Always be willing to change with the markets, be able to supplement your business with other skills you have! Do not just stick to one.

Green Treat Range

Green Treats Treats

Stephen's 'Top Tips' for success

  • What are your ‘Top Tips’ around attracting new customers and keeping existing ones loyal…

Deliver on what you say you will do. Be able to change with your customer and keep the service level 100 % Trust is the main factor and always be open about the problems that you might face by keeping communication open all the time.

  • What are your ‘Top Tips’ around keeping on top of costs and cash flow?

Look at the small costs. Try to fix as much pricing as possible and have a strong REALISTIC business plan for 3 years ahead. Invest in the right equipment to do the job.  

  • What are your ‘Top Tips’ around getting the best out of your team?

Empower them to be responsible. Let them have a say in the business and listen to them; it is important to let them feel they are contributing to the future.