Barbara Hanly, Soopa Pets

4th May 2016

Posted In: Women Who Launch
Barbara Hanly

Every month we speak to women entrepreneurs who have just launched into the business world.

In the hot seat for May’s Women Who Launch is Barbara Hanly, Soopa Pets.


The Elevator Pitch

Our mission is to help pet owners treat their pet’s guilt free by creating healthy, innovative and tasty pet snacks.


The Operation

Our office is located in Sandyford, Dublin and our team includes me (founder), Claire (sales and admin), Janet (UK sales manager) and of course Lily our small office dog with the big personality! We look forward to expanding our pack in the coming months in areas of sales, marketing and administration.


The Financials

We were delighted recently to announce securing a funding round of €400,000 which was led by business angels from the HBAN Food Syndicate and with support from Enterprise Ireland. This investment will help develop even more innovative and exciting products, build a strong support team and a fast expanding international business. Prior to investment the business was self funded and all profits re-invested.


Target Market

Our target market are pet owners that are passionate about their own health and food choices and want the same to be available for their pets.


Brands You Love

We love brands and companies that are passionate about the same things we are including health, nutrition, animal welfare and our planet. Companies such as Pukka, Deliciously Ella and Wholefoods motivate and inspire us.


Biggest ‘Win’ To Date

US health store king Wholefoods taking our little brand on board. We also recently launched into the UK’s largest pet store chain Pets at Home which was pretty pawsome!


Biggest ‘Slap in the Face’

I would say I’ve experienced plenty of disappointments along the way but you learn to dust yourself off and never get too excited about a potential deal until you have a signature on the dotted line.


Are You Social When It Comes To Media?

Soopa has generated a buzz thanks to features in Glamour magazine and ITV This Morning, recommendations through healthy pet food focused blogs, Facebook and twitter. Our customers and retailers are our real brand ambassadors because they know we are super passionate about pets and their well being is our priority.


Technology & Innovation

Innovation is key and helps sets us apart from our competitors.


Business Model You’d Like To Emulate

Be the innocent of pet foods – why not?!


If you had a blank cheque

– Set up a Soopa foundation to support animals that desperately needs help

– Build our own Soopa manufacturing plant

– Market our products to every dog on the planet!


Your Traits – Best and Worst 

Best: compassionate, honest, intuitive

Worst: impatient, perfectionist, people pleaser


Best Business Lunch Date 

Tony Robbins


Ideal Business Partner 

Tony Robbins again as his energy to make things happen is infectious and he’s super ambitious.


Best business advice 

Always trust your gut, it’s never wrong.