Establishing and running a small business, while incredibly rewarding, has its share of pitfalls and traps along the way. We consider ourselves very blessed to have met some great people along the way! Not only are they concerned about the health and well being of their customer's pets, they also have the same attitude towards us!
That type of feedback, along with numerous comments from our customer's keeps us focused. To keep up with the increased demand we've just invested in new equipment for our in-house bakery that will result in a quadrupling of our production. We must admit that the pressure to "outsource" production of our product has been very tempting, but we choose to keep the production method and recipes unchanged.
There are two primary methods of mass producing "cookies" today: wire cut, and depositor. The wire cut method basically forces the dough through a shaped die, with a wire sweeping underneath cutting the cookie. Up until now we have been using a 30 years old hand crank machine that was made in Portland Oregon. Wire cut machines are inherently limited in output. The depositor on the other hand forces the dough into pockets embedded on a large drum, then drop out as the drum rotates. Cookie depositors are capable of very high volume output.
Why should you care about this?
Our recipes result in a very sticky, heavy (and yummy) dough; it is simply not compatible with high volume depositor type machines. If we were to outsource production, our recipes would have to be heavily modified (more filler). We decided to stay with the lower volume wire cut method - choosing an automated machine that has been modified to use the same tooling (dies) that our trusty old hand crank machine uses.
Result? More cookies! And most importantly - same Cookies! :)