I know you\u2019ve had a varied career in the past. What did you do before the idea of Mr Bug came about?\r\n\r\nI was a rock musician for many years and I owned a music studio in London. I started it in Shepherds Bush - a tiny studio - and after about 22 or 23 years it has grown to be one of the biggest studios today. My wife basically said to me, \u201cif you want to have children, you will have to stop being a rock and roll idiot\u201d, but I've done lots of tour management as well, travelling the world a lot and dragging bands around.\r\n\r\nI also had another company called \u2018Baggy\u2019, which was a small bag dispenser company, and is how I came to know the pet industry. I know the people in it because we sold this for about 11 years, to varying degrees of success.\u00a0\r\n\r\nHave you always had an interest in insect farming and what inspired you to take the plunge and start up Mr Bug?\r\n\r\nThe music industry has had a terrible time over the last few years, and I\u2019ve travelled a lot in Africa at one stage, where, of course, eating insects is not abnormal. My wife and I had always said that if things were to go wrong in London that we\u2019d move down to Devon, and so, I thought, \u201cwhat do I do if I move down there?\u201d, because jobs aren\u2019t that easy to find.\u00a0\r\n\r\nSo I thought, \u201cwhat business can I start?\u201d, and I thought of insects because they are easy to breed. Initially, I thought of using insects for the exotic pet food market, such as reptiles and amphibians, but as we progressed, we looked at other options, and we saw that insect protein is being talked about more.\u00a0\r\n\r\nAnd so Mr Bug was started because I saw insects as a really viable, cheap way of getting a business going, and as a consequence, saw that insect protein was becoming more acceptable.\r\n\r\nHow do Mr Bug treats differ from other insect-based products on the current market?\u00a0\r\n\r\nI think that insect protein is not only very healthy, but it's also a great source of protein. We're using one singular protein as opposed to all the off cuts of other products; basically, all the bits they didn't put into sausages are then put into dog food. It's really nutritious and digestible, as well as a source of protein purposely made just for dogs.\u00a0\r\n\r\nI also think it has its own circular economy; we feed the mealworms on bran, which is a by-product of wheat production. That in turn creates the protein, but also there's a by-product in itself, which is called frass. That's mealworm poop, basically, and it\u2019s a very useful natural fertiliser, which in turn, of course, can grow wheat. Using mealworm has ticked a lot of boxes.\u00a0\r\n\r\nCan you explain more about how your product is made and where the mealworms are sourced from?\u00a0\r\n\r\nWe bought our initial mealworms from Pets at Home, to be quite honest, and we never had to buy them again because we bred them. We started very small, just trialling it and seeing how it works, seeing what conditions they needed. Then, we added some more from other places, such as from livestock and another company called \u2018Monk Field\u2019, and from there we\u2019ve grown them from egg upwards on the bran we give them.\r\n\r\nWhat are the eco-benefits of using insects in food and why are they becoming so popular?\r\n\r\nI think a lot of people are vegetarians for sustainable seasons, not just because they don\u2019t want to see animals hurt, but because they are also thinking of the environment. With the events going on around the world this summer, things are beginning to seem real. I\u2019ve always been part of the Green Party, and I believe we have to take precautions.\u00a0\r\n\r\nI think that people are beginning to see that there needs to be a new way of doing things, which is actually more sustainable and doesn't impact on the environment so much. I also think that the yuck factor is beginning to go, and people are beginning to see bugs as a really good source of protein.\r\n\r\nIn your opinion, do you think using insects could be a fad or is it the future of the pet food industry?\r\n\r\nI think it's going to expand. The great thing is it's going to get normalised the more people use it, and we've had a really good response so far. I think that it will become more and more normal, especially as we start getting vets and people extolling the virtues of the protein as they realise actually, it's not just a creepy crawly when it's in a powder form. It's just a very, very good protein source.\r\n\r\nWhat are the future plans for Mr Bug? Will you look to expand stockists, your ranges, etc?\r\n\r\nOf course. We have just released \u2018Bug Bites\u2019, which are our first offer, as well as our first product. And the reason why is not because our dog treats our \u201clow volume, high price\u201d,\u00a0 which as a small venture is advantageous, but we are hoping that on the back of this, we can expand it.\u00a0\r\n\r\nWe're going to hopefully do a protein bar next year. Since insect protein is so highly digestible and if you\u2019re climbing up a hill or a mountain with your dog, you\u2019d have your own protein bar and your dog would have one as well. So we'll do that and we very much hope to get into the human food game as we move forward, whenever legislation allows.