As a family-owned business, we would like to share with you our journey from how our company started to where it is today.
As a child, Levi always had an interest in making things he needed, such as dog collars, whips, and even animal traps. As a teenager, a neighbour took the time to teach Levi some basic leather skills which he later utilised to manufacture whips commercially which were sold to several produce shops across North Queensland. From here, he started making Pig Hunting collars for himself, his family and friends.
The idea to start a business producing quality Pig Hunting products came to life, and Levi along with his wife Rachel, agreed on the name Bark'n For Bacon. Levi got to work hand sewing prototypes of his plate designs and outsourcing the actual production of the final products.
With the need for more control during the manufacturing stage of his products, Levi and Rachel made the investment of their first industrial sewing machine, a restored Singer 132KG.
Teaching himself to sew efficiently, he started producing collars from his shed. Once again, they were made for themselves and sold to friends and family, but as others saw the products, demand quickly grew.
As the popularity of these products grew, Levi and Rachel secured their first reseller in Mareeba. The business name was registered, with Rachel designing the logos and branding.
Rachel utilised her skills as a Graphic Designer by creating Bark'n For Bacon's first website.
As demand for Bark'n For Bacon products grew across Australia, several more resellers contacted Levi to stock their products.
To aid the business growth, Rachel and Levi began to travel to local Pig Hunting competitions such as the Peeramon Pig Hunt and Pinnacle Big Boar comp to name a few, both conducting a pop up shop and being on board as a major sponsor.
During this period, Levi and Rachel welcomed their two children Kayla and Jake, which came with new challenges, and the way the business was run had to be adapted.
The decision was made to take the business to the next level and open their first shop front. This shop was small, being behind KFC in the small row of shops. Levi was also working full time at this stage, and the shop was open 4:30 pm till late on weekdays and 8 am - 12 pm on Saturdays.
It was decided to open the shop under the new branding Mareeba Working Dog Supplies as they did not want to limit the business to just Pig Hunting products. Levi had always made quite a few other rural products such as bull straps, whips, and other bits and pieces of saddlery. As space allowed, Levi had plans to branch further into this field.
After only six months in the small shop, the business had well and truly outgrown the premises. The decision was made to shift to the main street at 116 Byrnes Street, beside KFC.
In 2015 Levi and Rachel's hard work was recognised, being nominated for 'Business of the Year' and 'Best Customer Service' at the Mareeba Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, taking out Highly Commended for New Business of the Year.
In late 2017 Rachel decided it was time for Bark'n For Bacon's branding to have a design makeover and the shop name and branding to include Saddlery, as we had now begun to branch further into other areas. Rachel never liked the early shop logo as Levi had just wanted a simple design, so Rachel jumped at the chance to put her touch on the new logos.
2017 also saw Bark'n For Bacon's international wholesale open up, securing resellers in Texas USA.
Levi and Rachel made several changes to the business by customising a box trailer to allow them to operate a mobile shop at local Rodeos and events across Far North Queensland, allowing them to take their products directly to their customers.
This same year Bark'n For Bacon plates also received a makeover, resulting in a well-performing and great looking product.
In late 2018 the decision was made to move into a much bigger premises to allow for expansion of our product range and a more productive work area for Levi. We worked tirelessly over the Christmas and New Year break, and in late January 2019, we opened the doors to our new-look shop.
Later that same year, we felt our hard work had paid off. In August 2019 we were awarded 'Best Revitalised Business' and took out the major award of 'Business Of The Year' at the Mareeba Chamber of Commerce Business Awards
"While it has been a lot of hard work to get to this point, the journey has been enjoyable with a lot of good memories and friends being made along the way. These achievements would not have been possible without the help, hard work and initiative been shown by staff member Carol Amory and her family and very importantly, all our loyal customers both locally and around Australia."
Cheers Levi and Rachel