Picture the scene of your son in the family kitchen cooking a batch of delicious homemade treats for your dog – made from crickets!
Luckily, Ross Lamond’s parents were supportive of his forward-thinking insect-based dog food, as three years on he has secured celebrity endorsements from presenter Davina McCall and singer Peter Gabriel for his Bug Bakes dog treats.
The 26-year-old also took his product on to BBC’s Dragons’ Den.
Ross, who runs Bug Bakes with his brother Sandy and friend Jordan Walker, was baking in his mum’s kitchen in Wormit when he randomly received a call from a researcher for the programme.
He said: “I won the young person’s category in a business competition called Scottish
Edge in December 2018 and they’d picked my name up from there.
“They asked me to go to Manchester to do auditions and interviews with producers – all of which was being filmed.”
Soon after, Ross was asked to take part in the show and began perfecting his pitch while continuing to work on the business and holding down a weekend job at a shop.
He was told he would be appearing in front of dragons Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman, Tej Lalvani and the newest dragon Sara Davies, who joined the show this series.
Ross said: “I knew it was a risk as it’s all about how they edit it, so I wasn’t sure how I might come across.
“But I also knew that although I had a good idea, I needed investment and I didn’t know how to get that, so it was a great opportunity.”
How Ross got on will be revealed on Sunday when the show is broadcast on BBC2.
Then, just three days after the filming, Ross received an even bigger break when he won a national young person’s business competition called the F Factor, by Founders of the Future.
As his prize Ross was given stage space to do a presentation on his product at the Founders Forum, in London, in front of invited VIP guests, including top investors and celebrities.
Ross said: “At the garden party afterwards everyone was coming up to me to talk about what I’d said on stage.
“Davina loves dogs so she was cuddling the dog all the time and asked for some biscuits for her dog.
“Peter Gabriel also asked for some so I gave him them and thought even if nothing came from the event, I could still say their dogs have tasted Bug Bakes, which is pretty cool.”
Two days later, Davina sent Ross a direct message on Twitter saying her dog loved the treats, that she would like to invest and offered to be brand ambassador.
Mr Gabriel also got in touch with an investment offer as did many private investors, resulting in enough funds for Bug Bakes to move production into a factory and open an office in the centre of Dundee.
Ross said: “The last 12 months have been a whirlwind. I feel baffled but over the moon that we now have a solid plan and the resources needed to do it, rather than just living on hope that it would work out, like I was before.
Sandy, who has a PHD in techno economic analysis of renewable energy, said: “I believed in what Ross was doing and wanted help it grow into something.
“Insect protein is the future of food in general, for animals and humans alike.”