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Russell Gibbons

Warana, SEQ
Manufacturing

Beginning with discussions around the kitchen table, Huds and Toke has grown to a fully-fledged, award-winning business specialising in pet treats for horses and dogs. Production moved from the kitchen to the garage, then took over an entire house, before moving to a small factory warehouse, and expanding again into a much larger facility on the Sunshine Coast, which now exports to Germany and Japan.

My name is Russell Gibbons. I’m from the Sunshine Coast and I own a business called Huds and Toke. Huds and Toke create, design and manufacture some of the world's best pet treats.

My wife and I, we've both had similar backgrounds. We're both from regional Queensland, we both had lots of animals growing up. I personally did a Diploma in Applied Science for stock feed manufacturing, and my wife, Emma, she did a Diploma in Applied Science in animal nutrition and animal production.

Huds and Toke employs about 6 people, and it started with just my wife and I, and now there's 6 of us.

I’ve actually done a fair bit with grants and the small business resources. We did a Mentoring for Growth in the very early days. We were successful in getting one of the Ignite grants. We tried to get a few because I see them as a great help, and if you don’t get them, I also see them as a really good opportunity just to be working on your business.

I love being my own boss. I love the creativity. It's a special feeling to think people are buying stuff that we've actually made here out of our little Sunshine Coast factory, and I love that.

Huds and Toke is a proud family-owned and operated business taking on the large multinationals who dominate the pet treat sector – and winning. The business quickly grew from an idea to a commercial property, and now runs out of an accredited factory on the Sunshine Coast.

As the Huds and Toke brand has grown to be available across Australia, they turned their focus to exporting internationally. Strategically managing their growth has been one of the keys to Huds and Toke success. Extensive in-house research and development has been conducted to enhance current products and develop new pet treats of high quality and nutritional value. Production has been complemented by the development of systems which can manufacture these products in high volume. Further investment in the extended supply chain means the business is equipped to handle expected growth.

Growing rapidly, Huds and Toke have built a large business-to-business network for distribution of their quality pet treat products across Australia. They are now focusing on building a robust e-commerce capability to further increase sales, both domestically and internationally.

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