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Informing Business (September 12): Podium Pet Products lands Canadian contract

David Lee

Informing Business (September 12): Podium Pet Products lands Canadian contract

A natural pet products company from Maidenhead has secured a new international contract which will see its goods stocked in 600 stores across Canada.

Podium Pet Products develops and manufactures a wellbeing and grooming range for domestic animals which includes aloe-enriched shampoo bars, soothing balms and odour eliminating candles.

The company was founded in 2006 by former GB polo players Andrew Hine and Nick Evans and former World Cup bob skeleton athlete Carina Evans.

It now exports to more than 16 countries across Europe and North America, with its latest deal with Canadian pet supplies company PetSmart set to increase its annual turnover by 20 per cent to £2.4m.

Carina Evans, chief executive, said: “Exporting was an important part of our business strategy from the very beginning.

“It was a no-brainer as the North American market is huge, with plenty of opportunity for a business like us.

“International contract wins are always exciting, and to be able to say that we have a relationship with all the major pet buyers in the United States and Canada is something we are quite proud of.”

The company’s flagship product Dog Rocks, a natural solution to prevent dog urine marks on grass, is already being sold across the 1,500 PetSmart stores in the United States.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has been supporting the business since 2012 with exporting advice, market reports and trade show access grants.

Ben Raby, head of region – South East at DIT, said: “Podium Pet Products is a great example of a business in the South-east that has been able to tap into the demand for British products overseas, and their international success should be inspiration for other UK companies.”


South Western Railway brings out Tap2Go smartcard

South Western Railway (SWR) has launched a ‘Tap2Go’ smartcard which will allow customers to travel without buying a ticket beforehand.

The new account-based ticketing system will see SWR work out the best daily fare when a passenger touches in and out.

The card will be linked to the customer’s credit or debit card with payment taken from the Tap2Go account the day after they travel.

Passengers can also store season tickets on their smartcard, meaning journeys between the origin and destination of their annual ticket will not be charged.

Peter Williams, commercial director at South Western Railway, said: “Our Tap2Go smartcard removes the need for customers to buy a ticket before their journey, making their journey with us a whole lot easier.

“With their ability to add season tickets to their card, everything the customer needs for their journey will be all in one place.

“Plus, by calculating the best daily fare, Tap2Go will ensure value for money for our customers.”

Passengers should visit southwesternrailway.com to sign up and then email smartcards@swrailway.com to add Tap2Go to their account.


First electric taxi franchise in Berkshire opens in Slough

An electric taxi franchise which is believed to be the first of its kind in Berkshire has opened in Slough.

Endeavour Automotive, based in Bath Road, will be one of three companies licensed to cars from the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC).

LEVC said drivers of diesel taxis could save more than £100 per week on fuel by switching to a new generation of hybrid-electric taxis, where all four wheels are electrically powered.

A small petrol engine will still be fitted to act as a range extending generator for the batteries.

John Caney, chief executive officer at Endeavour Automotive, said: “Endeavour is a people-driven business and we’re constantly looking for new ways to help communities by offering more sustainable and cost-effective transport options.

“Our latest LEVC franchise in Slough provides a unique opportunity for taxi drivers across Berkshire to look at the financial and environmental merits of switching to zero emission capable taxis, which would bring long lasting benefits to the whole area over time.”


Conference to bring together beauty heads

The British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC) is holding its first Innovative Beauty Conference in Windsor this weekend.

BABTAC is a not-for-profit membership organisation and insurance provider for professionals working in the beauty, holistic and sports therapy industries.

Its conference is taking place at the Castle Hotel, High Street, on Sunday, and is due to include speeches from some of the leading figures across the beauty and aesthetic industries.

Karen Betts, who runs businesses including HD Brows and Nouveau Lashes, and Caroline Hirons, a social media and skincare guru, are both on the line-up of guest speakers.

BABTAC will also be hosting its annual awards ceremony in the evening with awards dished out to celebrate the achievements of those within the beauty industry.

Call 01452 623110 or visit www.babtac.com for further details and ticket information.


Following in Uncle Choo's footsteps

Shoe designer Lucy Choi will discuss her business journey during a networking session in Maidenhead.

The niece of legendary fashion designer Jimmy Choo has been lined up as a guest speaker at the next Make It Your Business event on Friday, September 20.

She will be discussing the inspiration behind her brand, her uncle’s influence and switching from a job in the financial industry to the world of fashion.

The event is taking place at Saints Café, in St Marks Road, from 10am to 8pm with Lucy due to speak at 11am, 2pm and 7pm.  

A ticket guarantees lifetime membership to Make It Your Business.

Exclusive VIP discounted prices for the Lucy Choi London brand will also be on offer.

Email hello@makeityour business.co.uk for details.  

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