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Colin Smith has been part of the Laughing Dog farm bakery team for over 38 years. He helps to develop our recipes to ensure they’re jam-packed with lots of nourishment for our four-legged friends...
Colin has been part of the Laughing Dog farm bakery team for over 38 years. As our process technologist, Colin helps to develop our recipes to ensure they are jam-packed with lots of tasty and wholesome nourishment for our four-legged friends, as well as ensuring that our farm bakery is able to create the recipe to the standard that our canine customers know and love.
Laughing Dog has always oven-baked its recipes and while this takes a lot longer than the conventional method of extrusion, we think it is worth the extra effort. But before we even get to the baking stage, a lot of time is spent ensuring the recipe is able to work in our farm bakery. As you know from baking at home, when you remove gluten from recipes this can cause changes to the dough’s structure and creates its own challenges…
Tell us about your first day Colin?
My first day at the bakery was a very tiring day. I started my first few days learning the mixing process and understanding what each ingredient was and how much went into each mix. There was certainly a lot to take in and remember, and many ingredients to put in by hand.
The farm bakery had five mixers back then, which had a mixing time of 40 minutes each. Pulling and pushing the mixing tubs about was a hard job alone as the total weight was about 800 kilograms. The job certainly kept me fit!
What would you say is your greatest achievement at the farm bakery Colin?
I feel very lucky to have been able to get involved in all of the Laughing Dog baked completes and treats somewhere along the line; helping to create the delicious recipes and taking the product all the way from the trial stage to full production in the farm bakery, where it is ready for dogs to eat.
My biggest achievement whilst being at the Laughing Dog bakery is the baking side, getting the Wonderfully Wheat Free products to run through the sheeting line; certainly a lot of time and head scratching went into them! The Wonderfully Wheat Free Chicken Complete recipe took 2 years to perfect, but as one of our bestselling products it was certainly worth the wait.
The Gloriously Grain Free Puppy has been a big challange too, but it was a proud moment to see it running perfectly.
What makes Laughing Dog so special?
Laughing Dog is unique with the choice of ingredients that it uses and its gentle oven baked process.
You’re retiring this month Colin. What do you think you’ll miss the most?
After being at the bakery for 38 years I will be very sad to leave. I will miss all of my colleagues in the Technical Department and friends I have made whilst being here. When I’m not missing everyone, I will be keeping myself busy, spending more time with my wife, Shelley, walking, gardening, watching the wildlife and spending time on Photography in the Lake District.
Everyone at the farm bakery wishes Colin a very long and happy retirement. But our four-legged friends need not worry…Colin’s well-loved recipes will be in safe hands and are guarateed to keep tails wagging and tummies happy for years (and years!) to come.