Why There’s No Such Thing as Overnight Success with Kelly Costello, Founder of Puppy Cake

It’s not a birthday unless there’s cake! Why shouldn’t that be true for dogs too? Today’s guest is Kelly Costello, founder of Puppy Cake. Her lightbulb moment came when she was looking at old cake mix advertisements for a client and thought, "Wouldn't it be great if they made that for dogs too?" Realizing that dog owners across the globe wanted to treat their dogs like family and provide them with healthy and safe treats, Kelly established Puppy Cake in 2007. Puppy Cake's products range from personalized dog cakes and mixes to ice creams and cookies, plus dog toys and apparel too. Kelly has a passion for both dogs and manufacturing, personally overseeing the manufacturing of all the Puppy Cake products. In this episode, we discuss some of the challenges that Kelly encountered on her journey to success, the tips and tricks she learned along the way, and the myth of ‘overnight success’. Kelly shares her perspective on ‘bootstrapping’ versus big loans and talks about her experience on Shark Tank. She also has some advice for entrepreneurs looking to start their own manufacturing company, so make sure not to miss this episode!

Kelly Costello Headshot 2019

Meet Our Guest, Kelly Costello

In 2007, Kelly Costello was looking at old cake mix advertisements for a client of hers. She thought, "Wouldn't it be great if they made that for dogs?" That was her light bulb moment. She realized that dog owners across the globe wanted to treat their dogs like family and give them safe and healthy cakes. She started with a few flavors and worked out of her kitchen in a tiny 1-bedroom apartment in Bellevue, Pennsylvania. Costello’s big break came in 2012 when she appeared on Shark Tank. Though she didn’t get a deal, the exposure and advice was the springboard to take the company to the next level. Little by little, Puppy Cake grew and began launching a whole line of treats. Their best-sellers are the cake mixes and ice cream mixes. Since 2013, all of their products are made in the Puppy Cake owned factory. It’s in a small town called Evans City that is full of hardworking people who put their hearts into making great dog treats. In 2017, Puppy Cake purchased the Evans City Factory out of which we operate. It was a big milestone for us and we are very proud of the modern factory that we have created. Thank you for your support as this company has grown from loyal customers and retail partners who have helped grow our brand. Puppy Cake wholesales to independent pet stores only. Visit your local "mom and pop" pet store in town and see why we love working with them.


Meet Your Host, Frances Brunelle

Frances Brunelle is the founder of Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers, Inc., which specializes in the sale of lower middle-market manufacturing companies nationally. Fran and her team help to ensure the continuity of U.S. Manufacturing by transitioning ownership to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Fran writes on topics that help manufacturing business owners prepare their companies for sale and navigate the sale process to ensure a positive financial result in support of their retirement. Her articles can be found here. Recently Fran was named to 2020 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A by Mergers & Acquisitions.

To learn more about Fran and her company, click here: About Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers, Inc.