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Exploring Life & Business with Ashley Chen and Jamie Koh of Biscuit Bentos

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Chen and Jamie Koh.

Hi Ashley & Jamie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
One winter afternoon in South Bay LA, a stray dog curled up into my lap and changed my life. Her name is Biscuit. She’s a young Pomapoochi (pomeranian, mini poodle, and chihuahua) mix full of cuddles, energy, and love. Her health and wellness have always been my top priority; however, Biscuit fell extremely ill early in May from a treat produced by a large manufacturer experiencing a “market withdrawal.” This is when I realized how important it is to only feed Biscuit the best. Biscuit now snacks on our healthy and yummy treats as well as single-ingredient, preservative-free treats from other women-owned and minority-owned small businesses. We are wary of every ingredient listed on food labels and will only choose treats with ingredients we can read.

I wanted to bring dog treats into the market but not just any dog treats. I reached out to Jamie – a mechanical engineering student by day and baker by night – to partner with me to create cute, healthy, and yummy cookies for dogs. Since then, our friendship and partnership have grown and strengthened and our small business has blossomed into a friendly dog community on Instagram.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road throughout this journey. One of the struggles from the start was trying to create dog-friendly icing that wasn’t loaded with sugar or strange, unhealthy ingredients. After researching and testing various recipes, Jamie finally perfected an icing that was simple, preservative-free, and healthy. Our icing is made up of three ingredients -tapioca starch, coconut flour, and coconut sugar- and dyed with natural food coloring -beetroot powder, blue spirulina, and turmeric. Jamie was so close to giving up on this recipe and started to look for alternative solutions. With encouragement, she persevered and it led her to create our unique, one-of-a-kind dog-friendly icing.

Another struggle was trying to find the balance between a full-time job, a small business, and our personal lives. The number of orders we got during our launch was absolutely insane. We did not expect to be sold out within hours! It was quite overwhelming. We are so grateful to have such a loving and strong support system that always keeps us going.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Biscuit Bentos creates customized, artisan cookies for dogs. Whether you’re celebrating a barkday, gotcha day, or any day, our small business can create biscuits of any shape, size, and design with our engineered 3D-printed cookie cutters. From special designs to logos for dog-centered small businesses, we are able to shape and mold our cookies in any fashion.

I’m proud of our commitment to giving back to our community. For every bento box purchased, we donate $1 to our charity of the year. The non-profit we chose for 2021 is Priceless Pet Rescue. In high school, I volunteered at this no-kill animal shelter and fundraised money through school organizations to donate to Priceless Pets.

I’m most proud of our commitment to using quality ingredients: brown rice flour, sweet potato, pumpkin, applesauce, and oat flour. No salt and no preservatives are ever added. We truly believe that we shouldn’t feed our dog(s) something we wouldn’t eat ourselves.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
Since I was a child, I felt a deep connection and immense love for dogs. The moment I learned to talk, I asked my parents for a puppy. On my fifth birthday, my parents surprised me with my very own Fur-Real GoGo My Walkin’ Pup Pet. I was elated! I named her princess and screamed for her to walk to me every few minutes, driving my older sister and parents crazy. When I got a DS, I played Nintendogs nonstop. Every moment I got, I walked, trained, groomed, and played with my digital friends. I trained my dogs so much… they won gold in every competition. I was obsessed. When my friends went on extended vacations, I begged them to let me watch their dogs. I taught them new tricks and cared for the puppies as if they were mine. I yearned for the moment I would grow up, move out, and get a puppy of my own. -Ashley

Ever since the first grade, the first item on my birthday and Christmas lists was always a puppy. I have always been completely obsessed with puppies. While other girls had High School Musical posters on their walls, I had thirty posters of dogs all over my wall. Whenever I played pretend family or princesses, I would always have a pet dog. I owned over twenty stuffed animal dogs that I loved and cared for as if they were real. I had a big Barbie playhouse which I would call the “Dog House” where all my stuffed animal dogs would live. I even threw an actual birthday party for one of my dogs. I bought a mini cake, created an invitation for my sister’s stuffed animal dogs, and made my pinata out of a cardboard diaper box. My love for dogs has only continued to grow and I am so excited to meet my future best friend one day as I know he/she will be worth waiting for. -Jamie

Pricing:

  • Bao’s Bento – $25
  • Tropical Training Treats – $8
  • Summer Bento – $25
  • Birthday Bento – $25
  • Custom Pup Face Cookie – $5

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

1. Biscuit Bentos 2. Biscuit Bentos 3. Biscuit Bentos 4. Biscuit Bentos 5. Biscuit Bentos 6. Kimberly Hsieh 7. Ashley Chen 8. Angie Voong

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