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Creating connections for impact

Monday, July 23, 2018

Nova Scotia is the best place for our business, partly because we have access to those incredible advisors and because agencies like NSBI and ACOA support us and work with us as our company grows. But a big part of the brand cachet and value is in its ties to local, to the ocean, and to our lifestyle. Being in Nova Scotia is a real asset.

Karen Campbell, President

Totally Raw Pet Food

When Karen Campbell and Doug Malloy’s young German shepherd, Daisy, developed cancer 15 years ago, the couple had no idea that their research into feeding her a healthy diet – and seeing her restored to health – would grow into a business that is now Atlantic Canada’s largest producer and distributor of raw pet food, dehydrated treats and supplements. 

Their Halifax-based company, Totally Raw Pet Food, has enjoyed double-digit growth in each of those 15 years. It employs 18 people and operates storefronts in Dartmouth and Clayton Park, with a third store opening in Moncton in June. With distributorships in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario, they are now in more than 100 specialty pet food stores across Canada. 

Now they’re in expansion mode. 

Having worked with NSBI for several years, they consulted their Regional Business Development Advisor who directed them to NSBI’s ConnectNS Global Advisor Program. For a small province, we are rich in connections and that’s an asset we have been strategically building over the last few years through ConnectNS at NSBI.

There are more than 2,700 members in our ConnectNS network in more than 40 countries. The ConnectNS Global Advisors Program is an online digital match-making platform for Nova Scotia exporters to gain exclusive access to 107 Global Advisors here and around the world - a number we’re proud to say continues to grow. The advisors are senior executives willing to help our Nova Scotia exporters become more globally connected. The program is provided at no cost to eligible Nova Scotia companies. 

“NSBI’s Global Advisors’ program administrator helped us choose the five best-fit advisors for our company,” says Laurie Alexander, who leads Totally Raw Pet Food’s business development. “We wanted to learn how to scale up, to get into grocery stores or large retailers. We’ve done the research, we know our competition, and we want to dominate the all-natural pet food market.” 


“The Global Advisors Program has been game changing,” Alexander says. “We were able to dig in with key, influential people on what would be our best next steps. Karen and I have met with four advisors so far, and every one of those conversations had gems of wisdom we’ve applied to our growth strategy. To be able to sit down over coffee with someone one-on-one was amazing, and we were impressed by how generous everybody was with their time.” 

“Hearing from these senior people that we’re on the right track with three great product lines and an amazing brand was the catalyst we needed,” says Campbell. “We went into this program with so many questions and came out with clarity and specific growth strategies. We can’t thank NSBI enough for this incredible program and how much we were able to learn.”