Meet 14 year old, equestrian entrepreneur, Gabbi Sousa. She rides ponies by day, and cooks up organic horse treats by night. Just 3 months ago, she launched Pony Pantry, a natural Horse Treat company based in Matthews, North Carolina. Pony Pantry’s inaugural treats are called OatNuts, which are donut-shaped treats made with yummy goodness, and they come in 3 flavors: Carrot, Apple and Peppermint. For those of you technical people out there that don’t trust my palate, Oatnuts are made of rolled and steel cut oats, molasses, whole grain rye flour and other secret, but healthy, ingredients.
Chloe: So Gabbi, do you need any professional taste testers? I am pretty busy but I can clear my schedule for a longtime friend.
GS: That would be great! We would love to have a horse with your incredible palate try our treats!
Chloe: Offer accepted! I know you have been making horse treats for yourself and your barn friends for a few years. When did you decide to take your treat making to the next level and start Pony Pantry?
GS: I began making horse treats in the local Young Riders 4-H club as a project. I had always loved making horse treats because Bella, my first pony, loves treats. I always gave her some of my home made treats after a ride, and now I do the same with my current pony, Jackson! I wanted to begin my own business to create my very own treats so that Jackson could have an unlimited supply and so I could share with others!
Chloe: Sounds like music to my ears! What has been the hardest part of starting Pony Pantry?
GS: Learning that making treats and actually selling them requires a lot of approvals, legal things, laboratory analysis and other things that my dad was responsible for!
Chloe: Yeah, you should definitely make your dad do all the boring stuff! Tell me more about the monthly subscription service. Could I just slip you this credit card I found in Andrea’s bag and you add my name to the service?
GS: Absolutely! The Monthly Treats Club allows you to receive two tubes of treats each and every month for 1 year. You can cancel at any time!
Chloe: Is there anything you want readers to know about Pony Pantry? Why should they choose your treats over the other options?
GS: Our treats are a simple, nutritious snack with all natural ingredients. After speaking with many equine veterinarians, they were concerned about the amount of refined sugars people were feeding to horses and ponies. So because of this, we do notdecorate them with sugar or fondant.
Our biggest seller is our Pony Pantry Trainer Treats. These are peppermint-flavored small treats that can be used as part of training for groundwork and bonding exercises, and simple rewards. Also, and why trainers love them, they are a great replacement for that piece of peppermint candy given ringside. Our feeling is that instead of giving them a lump of straight sugar, you can give them something that tastes good and is healthier for them! Finally, another cool thing is that our tubes can fit easily in your grooming box or in side pocket of your ringside backpack or riding backpack!
Thank you so much Gabbi, and dad, Rick, for hanging out and telling everyone more about Pony Pantry! For more information and to purchase your Pony Pantry treats, visit www.ponypantry.com.