Durham dog-treat maker finalist in Super Bowl commercial contest

Nov. 11, 2013 @ 06:51 PM

Barley Labs, a Durham-based company that makes dog treats using a by-product of the beer-making process, is competing against three other small businesses for a chance at some Super Bowl air time.

The company is a finalist in the “Small Business Big Game” competition sponsored by Intuit Inc., a provider of financial and tax software for small businesses. The grand prize winner will be highlighted in an Intuit TV commercial scheduled to air during the football game.

Scott Beaudry, co-owner of Barley Labs, said in a news release that he and co-founder Theresa Chu are “still in awe” that they were selected as finalists out of thousands of companies.

 “We couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to share our story and our business with dog and beer lovers across the country,” he said.

According to the website https://www.smallbusinessbiggame.com, the top winner will be selected through an online, public voting process that ends Dec. 1. The finalist with the most votes will be highlighted in a 30-second TV commercial.

Intuit will cover the cost of developing and producing the commercial as well as the cost of purchasing 30 seconds' worth of advertising time during the game, according to the website.

For the top spot, Barley Labs is competing against other companies including GoldieBlox, a California-based toy company looking to spark girls’ interest in engineering, and Dairy Poop, an Idaho-based company producing lawn and garden fertilizer from dairy cows. There’s also Locally Laid Egg Co., a Minnesota-based free-range egg producer.

According to the release, Chu and Beaudry launched Barley Labs in September of last year. Beaudry is a home beer brewer who said it seemed like “such a waste” to throw away all of the leftover grain from the beer-making process.

“I did some research and found I could take that barley and turn it into dog treats,” he said.

Barley Labs now has three flavors of treats that sell online and in certain stores. The company works with the Durham-based brewery Fullsteam to get the leftover grain for their treats and with Cultured Cow Creamery for cheddar for their cheese flavor.

The company is named for their dog Barley, who has the title of “chief inspiration officer and vice president of quality control.” He was adopted in 2009 from the animal shelter. The company donates 10 cents from the sale of each bag sold to a shelter in Durham, according to the release.