Dragons’ Den: Chorley’s Scoff Paper receives £50K investment

Gemma Connolly, who has created a unique brand of edible greeting cards for dogs, Scoff Paper, has secured major backing from BBC Dragons’ Den’s Sara Davies to allow her business to take full advantage of the growing pet treat market. 

The volunteer guide dog puppy raiser appeared on the BBC show earlier this month alongside Leo, a young golden retriever.

Gemma won Sara over with her innovation and the tenacity she’s maintained in building her business from the ground up.

Lancashire Telegraph: Sara Davies with Gemma ConnollySara Davies with Gemma Connolly (Image: Scoff Paper)

Sara offered Gemma £50,000 for 25 per cent of the company, with the option to claim five per cent back if Sara recoups her investment within the first 12 months of their collaboration.

With Sara’s expert eye and rich retail experience, Gemma plans to make her world-first product accessible across the UK and internationally in the near future. 

Gemma said: “I’m not good at blowing my own trumpet, but I gave it everything I had when I went into The Den and was proud of my presentation and my responses to the Dragons’ subsequent grilling. It probably helped that I had Leo by my side. 

 “When Sara said she believed in me and my vision, it meant so much. I’m over the moon that she chose to invest in my little company that’s got its eye on global domination. After all, is there a dog on this planet that doesn’t love a tasty treat? With Sara’s know-how and support, I can put 100 per cent of my time and focus into our business and get the bespoke manufacturing facility running at maximum capacity.” 

Lancashire Telegraph:  Gemma Connolly on Dragons' Den Gemma Connolly on Dragons’ Den (Image: BBC)

 Sara said: “Gemma’s belief in her fantastic product was clear from the moment she stepped into the den. I have so much respect and admiration for the work she’s put in to grow her company to the level she has. I’m excited to work alongside Gemma to mentor her through the next exciting stage of growth as she goes on to inspire dog owners around the world to celebrate their pets’ special occasions with edible cards.” 

Scoff Paper is based in Buckshaw Village, Chorley, where all the design, marketing and manufacturing takes place. As the business grows, Gemma plans to offer more career opportunities to local people across all departments. 

Lancashire Telegraph: An edible pet birthday card, produced by Scoff PaperAn edible pet birthday card, produced by Scoff Paper (Image: Scoff Paper)

Gemma came up with the idea for Scoff Paper in March 2020 when one of the guide dog puppies, Loki, tried to eat a greeting card that she had bought to celebrate his birthday. 

Gemma created the first range of edible card prototypes at her kitchen table when she realised the manufacturing capabilities for this type of product did not currently exist. After numerous calls and visits to local pet shops, she received her first order for 48 cards, which she produced by hand.

Scoff Paper cards are on display at many major UK retailers, including John Lewis, Pets at Home, Pets Corner and hundreds of independent pet retailers. The products are now produced by bespoke machinery at Scoff Paper’s manufacturing facility in Buckshaw Village. The facility is capable of producing 2million cards per year.

Watch Gemma face the Dragons’ Den business moguls on BBC iPlayer. 

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