Dorwest celebrates nearly seventy years within the pet sector
Dorwest is passionate about keeping dogs and cats healthy. The family-run company produces its own range of dietary supplements and homoeopathic products. It’s the only manufacturer of herbal medicines authorised by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.
Managing director, Jo Boughton-White, is the proud owner of four whippets and the third generation of her family to lead Dorwest, which was founded in 1948. She said: “Fundamentally for us it’s about quality, we never cut corners in any part of our brand from the ingredient sourcing right through to service and delivery. I think ultimately people need to remember natural products are only ever as good as the quality of that ingredient.
“Ingredient quality can vary hugely dependent on source, so we never ever compromise to cut costs and improve profits. I think that’s one of the reasons we’re still here 70 years later; we’re a brand that people trust.”
Over the years, Dorwest has continued to build its comprehensive range, and its products support pets’ general well-being, skin and coat, urinary, liver, anxiety and digestive conditions as well as many other common issues. Dorwest’s medicines and supplements are now stocked in 20 countries around the globe and the company has expanded from one person to employ 15 people.
Jo said: “When it was founded by my grandfather, Dorwest was a one man band. Some of our core formulations were created in those first few years so they really have stood the test of time. With my parents at the helm, we focused on our specialism and we’ve steadily grown from there. In the 90s we set up our own licenced packaging unit and facility and this allows us to package and label all of our licenced medicines, as well as our supplements.”
In 2016, the company moved into new headquarters at Poundbury, Dorchester which integrates the licensed production unit with the sales and marketing offices. Jo said: “It accommodates our recent growth and also gives us great scope to develop additions to our product range in the future.”
Despite recent expansion, Dorwest’s team is determined to stay true to its roots. Jo added: “Dorwest runs through our veins, for me, the managing director, I was born into it. We’re all pet lovers and pet owners, that’s not just marketing blurb, that’s really who we are. I think that customers and retailers are savvy and they can see our expertise and knowledge when they purchase from us and meet us at shows, and they notice that Dorwest continues to have the same ethos it has always had.”
In fact, when updating the Dorwest’s range, the company devoted time to learning exactly how the company was seen within the market. “When we rebranded in 2015, we wanted to respect our heritage when freshening up. We managed to do that and I think the brand now looks even ‘more Dorwest’ than we did before,” said Jo.
“We did a huge amount of research before our rebrand to see what our customers and retailers thought of us. We found people knew our name and said ‘if we want knowledge and a good quality product we always go to the experts and that is Dorwest’. It’s now our tagline: The experts in herbal pet care.”
Although the majority of Dorwest’s core formulations were created three generations ago, the company still adds to its range. Last year it launched Omega Star, a blend to nourish dogs’ skins and coats. The new formulation which features a 100 percent natural balanced blend of plant oils is rich in essential Omega 3 and 6 and a combines flax seed oil, blackcurrant seed oil, borage oil and natural vitamin E.
Jo said: “Our plant based oil essential fatty acid supplement was created with a lot of research. Over the last ten years there’s been a huge growth in interest in natural ingredients and I think it’s important that we never just jump on the latest bandwagon. We only launch fully researched products that we know are safe and effective for dogs and cats, and we think very carefully before introducing new ingredients and new products into the range.”
“All of our products are manufactured in fully audited facilities in the UK and we’re closely involved in all the sourcing and the testing to make sure they meet our high standards.”
Dorwest will be busy over the next few months as it launches projects to coincide with the company’s 70th anniversary in 2018. “We’ve had such a busy couple of years with the rebrand and the move of premises you’d have thought it would be time to take stock and slow down a little,” said Jo.
“Instead, we’ve taken on a huge project internally to improve some of our operations at HQ and enhance our customers’ experience online. Retailers especially are going to be able to access a lot more digital information on their own social media and website accounts, and we’re developing some rather exciting new additions to the range which is forming part of our 70th birthday celebrations, exciting times ahead.”
Become a stockist
Retailers with an interest in stocking Dorwest products can telephone the company’s customer service team on 01308 897272. “We’re a small friendly team and we can advise which products would be best for each premises and customer base,” said Jo. “We can also provide lots of point of sale. We really believe in the value of supporting independent retailers. We don’t supply the range to any of the large pet wholesalers so we can ensure direct contact with retailers on a regular basis. We also attend PATS Sandown and Telford.”
Stockists can also take part in ‘Get Trained with Dorwest’, a free correspondence training scheme. The scheme is designed for retailers and vet nurses to gain essential product knowledge of the Dorwest product range so they can promote the range with confidence. The course counts towards CPD and all successful candidates receive a badge and a certificate, so customers know who to approach in store to talk to about Dorwest products. For a training pack, email email@example.com.
Seventy years of success
Managing director, Jo, looked back on the last seven decades to pinpoint a few of the company’s high points. “I think obtaining the licence on our six herbal medicines was a big achievement. The amount of work that has taken over the last 45 years is incredible. It’s very challenging at times but it lets our customers and our retailers know the quality of the ingredients and that really stands for something. Ultimately, to be known as a leading provider of herbal products for dogs and cats is our greatest achievement.”