Nothing “Fishie” About It: How Keyla grew her upcycled dog treat company with community investment!
A family-owned seafood restaurant in one of the best towns for seafood in the country, a rescue dog with a nose for quality seafood, and an entrepreneur with a heart for family, pets, and sustainability. These are the ingredients for Fishies, one of the most recent members of the Honeycomb alumni family! Read on to find out more about how Baltimore small business owner Keyla grew her upcycled dog treats small business with the help of 58 community investors who raised $37,275!
A winning small business idea right under their noses!
Who doesn’t love a story with a dog? Keyla Yalcin and her husband Ferhat adopted Artie, a Siberian Husky, in 2007, and of course it was love. Artie was right by their side as they built Fishnet, their acclaimed Baltimore seafood restaurant. “He was our baby, he lived right alongside us while we were building the restaurant,” says Keyla. While Keyla and Ferhat ran the restaurant, they’d often treat Artie to fish scraps - and Artie wasn’t complaining!
Soon, Keyla realized the connection between the fresh, quality seafood she was feeding her fur-baby and how healthy he was and his shiny coat. Artie lived a long life - 14.5 years - and his legacy now lives on in Fishies, dog treats made from upcycled fish waste! Whole, quality ingredients are important to Keyla, both in her restaurant and with Fishies, and the treats are made with only five sustainably sourced ingredients.
“I made Fishies so we could bring the things that kept our family happy and healthy throughout the years to your family,” Keyla says.
Swimming upstream with community investment!
Keyla began selling her dog treats at the restaurant - literally, selling a doggy bag for happy customers to take home, and also setting up at the local farmer’s market in Baltimore to get out into the community (and of course, see some dogs). It grew so popular that Keyla was left with one conclusion:
“I want to take Fishies national!” says Keyla. “It’s great that our local community can buy Fishies at our restaurant, or find us in the farmer’s market, but this is really a national product that can deal with a national problem: fish waste.”
In order to go national, of course, some big changes needed to be made. Keyla needed to hire employees, invest in marketing materials and working capital, and get some new, durable packaging for the dog treats to hit the shelves of local grocery stores. She decided that to raise the funds to do this, she was going to reach out to the community that helped her build her restaurant and run a Honeycomb campaign!
Honeycomb Credit is a platform that allows small businesses to raise money in the form of crowdfunded loans. A small business owner like Keyla can reach out to her customers, family, and friends to invest in her business, starting at $100!
With Honeycomb, Keyla ended up raising $37,275 from 58 investors. That puts her well on her way to growing Fishies, creating jobs in her community and becoming a household name!
We’re here to help take your dreams from the back kitchen to the national stage
Whether it’s upcycled dog treats like Fishies, or a product like gourmet 8 Myles Mac and Cheese, Honeycomb has been a part of helping business owners stock the shelves of local and national stores with their products with the help of our crowdfunded small business loans. Does this sound like your dream? We’d love to hear about it. Learn more about Honeycomb Credit by filling out the form below: