We had the good fortune of connecting with Anthony Richardson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anthony, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The thought process for starting Harley’s Treats USA was simple, we LOVE our puppers and wanted to make sure what we give them is healthy, delicious and affordable.
We had Harley (my support pupper) and took in a rescue, Bella, at the end of 2019. We always gave Harley the best nutritious food available and it was expensive. However, since we had two pups to feed we needed to be more economical in what we bought them. One day, I spent a morning at a big box store reading the ingredients and googled every word I could not pronounce. Only then did I realize the amount of poison we give our pets as well as the impact these poisons’ have on their health. Since I was adamant on NOT giving our puppers treats that may cause harm to their health, we decided to go to a more upscale/organic store. I quickly realized that giving them better nutrition would be very expensive.
I knew we had to find a better option after spending a few hours comparison shopping; looking to find a balance of great nutrition and cost, That is when I decided on a new mission in life. That new mission was to provide healthy dog treats at an affordable price to parents of fur babies. And thus, the journey of Harley’s Treats USA began.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
A quick history of my career so far in life. I started my military life in the Minnesota Army National Guard. I invested eight years with them and ultimately decided to sign up as active duty Army. I have almost completed 24 years of service and will officially retire in July of 2022.
The military professional life can be challenging to say the least. With our last 18 years of war, a Soldier can be pulled in many directions. There is the military, your family, and the country that all demand your time. The balance was very difficult. The countless birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, funerals, and graduations I’ve missed due to deployments weighed heavily on my family life. The Army always expects all you have to give all, all of the time. I was somehow able to manage this and obtain the highest enlisted rank of Sergeant Major which I am VERY proud of.
So what has my military career taught me?
The military has taught me the value of investing in PEOPLE. I know that Veterans have specialized skills developed over many years of training and experience. Skills in areas such as leadership, strategy, conflict resolution and resolve are paramount to the success of a strong unit. I know veterans are able to multitask as well as complete whatever mission they may be given. We are built upon the foundation of hard work, focus and serving for the benefit of others. Most large corporations do not understand the full potential of this community nor have they experienced the trials and tribulations that exist among us.
This life has also taught me the importance of giving back to my community. “In the service of others” has been adopted as part of our mission, vision and value statement for Harley’s Treats USA, This is why we believe in employing Veterans and their family members as well as selecting the Gold Star Peak non-profit organization for donations. We are creating a different kind of company, one that we believe people will want to be a part of.
And how has that helped with Harley’s Treats USA?
People are the keys to success. Knowing this has helped me to shape and grow the Harley’s Treats USA brand. I believe that when you, as a leader, invest in your team, the success will follow, and it has! I believe, above all else, that being in service to others is the highest honor I could give. It is our mission to not only provide healthy treats that are affordable for your pets but also to build strong teams by putting trust in them, teaching them, as well as providing direction and motivation.
At HT USA, we have an awesome team of bakers that have increased the production on their own. They understood we needed more to meet demand while ensuring top quality in our products. We have a marketing & sales team that, with minimal direction, has produced amazing results. This has translated into increased orders both online and at the various farmer’s markets we are at in the Phoenix area.
Although we started out wanting to provide a healthy treat for the dogs, we now know that providing opportunities to our military community is just as important. We are building a different kind of company and it feels amazing to give back!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Downtown Phoenix – food and to catch a Cardinals or Diamondback game Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale to grab a steak and see the holiday nights!
Sedona for a hike to Devil’s Ridge and a glass of wine in one of their restaurants overlooking the city
Lake Havasu City to see the falls and a great hike
Prescott to explore Whiskey Row for live music and dining (Papa’s Italian Restaurant)
The Grand Canyon because it’s the GRAND CANYON!
Flagstaff for skiing in the winter!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is a very simple and easy question to answer. My shoutout is to my Wife, Theresa Richardson!
She is my muse, my motivation and my biggest supporter. She alone has not only supported me from the beginning but also encourages me every step of the way.
When I explained what I was thinking of doing, her eyes lit up and she smiled from ear to ear. She said that was a great idea and helped me with some research. Even when so much was still unknown about everything from how we would finance my new mission to managing Harley’s Treats USA, she never stopped encouraging and pushing me to the next level.
Through every error, mistake or failure (as I saw it) she has stood by me and always helps me look at the positive side of the situation. She often says “Business is about dealing with the peaks AND valleys. So If we cannot work through the valleys, we don’t deserve the peaks. We have to trust in the plan,..God’s plan for us!”
Hands down, She is my strength in the new journey and I love her for all of it!
Other: TikTok @harleystreatusa