The very first time I met Robert Catcher was in my local pub, he wasn’t the usual clientele because he is well spoken, clearly a successful business man and a gentleman. Not the usual hairy bummed builder! Saying that he is very well liked and mixes with us ruffians very well.
I remember him telling me about this ‘seed’ of an idea he had around six years ago and it has been a pleasure to watch the growth and development of this idea explode into a global brand, he is now affectionally know in our local as Biscuit Bob.
We met up to talk about how his idea was so successful and the hurdles he hit along the way, I wanted to write a piece to inspire people who have the best ideas but maybe lack the confidence to push it to it’s full potential. After all success is a series of hurdles and challenges that all need careful consideration.
Robert Catcher is the managing director for Queezibics®, A ginger biscuit that isn’t just a flavoured biscuit to dunk into your tea but a remedy to cure you and your dog from conditions like travel sickness, morning sickness and even things like medication and post operative sickness, and I speak from experience when they’re extremely useful for hangovers as well.
Robert started in humble beginnings packing parcels when he was 17 because his father, who owned an advertising firm, directed him to start at the bottom and work his way up. Robert’s assumptions that he would be swanning around running the place in no time didn’t quite pan out!
He worked very hard and eventually earned himself a place at the world famous advertising agents Saatchi & Saatchi working on national and international brands. He also worked for The British Medical Association and The Royal College of Midwifes which is where he first learnt the knowledge of using ginger as a medical sickness aid.
Robert retired to the South of France some time ago but when his daughter and her friend, who was pregnant at the time, came to stay with him he found himself baking some ginger biscuits because his daughter’s friend was suffering quite badly from morning sickness. “They weren’t the best biscuits in the world” he proclaimed but after a few days she felt so much better. This was the moment when Pregibics® was born.
People soon cottoned on to the fact that these biscuits could help all manner of ailments and because they were so versatile the brand name changed to Queezibics®. These biscuits have proved so popular that they can be found on the Brittany Ferries to help with sea sickness, you can order them on Amazon and or direct from queezibics.com and they are sold in Hong Kong and also in America!
The great news is that they now also sell Queezibics DF® (dog formula) after his much loved Golden Retriever suffered badly on their way to France. The combination of heated dog sick and the horrendous sound effects forced Robert to take action by giving Norman a human biscuit which worked great! I am really pleased they produce the dog formula because these biscuits have really helped to settle the tummies of a few dogs in my care when it comes to travel sickness.
I recently had two beagles who joined my adventures who were incredibly car sick. I constructed a plan to help the poor souls who were not only being sick but having accidents as well. It got to the point that car travel was becoming quite mean but I didn’t want to give up on them. With the help of Queezibics® we were able to stop all the sickness and they both travel perfectly now.
The most interesting data that Robert gave me is that a staggering 62% of children and puppies suffer from motion sickness and there are currently 1.5 million dogs that suffer which is 17% of all dogs in the UK. Now this is the really sad statistic, 64% continue to travel with their dog even though their dog suffers and 36% don’t travel with their dog because of their sickness.
That’s a fair amount of unhappy dogs and their owners out there!
The Queezibics DF can be bought from Creature Comforts in Honiton, Pets at Home, Amazon and at Queezibics.com
I asked Robert five questions when I met up with him.
Why do you think it is important to use alternative therapies and products when there are pharmaceutical products available?
“I wanted to find a hassle free way of medicating, especially for dogs. Trying to get tablets down a dog's throat can be a real pain and quite stressful, especially when they end up spitting it out. It’s about the practical side of giving treatment in a humane and enjoyable way.”
How do you think the canine alternative therapies and products compare in interest and industry scale to the human alternative therapies and products?
“I believe it’s a totally underdeveloped industry compared to the human therapies and I think there needs to be a lot more of it in the canine world.”
What would you say to someone thinking about wanting to start an alternative health care product for dogs?
“Check your bank balance! It costs a lot of money to launch a product. I have been able to run a tight ship because of the experience and skill I have from previous employment, I would say the one thing that is most frustrating is waiting for checks to be made so you can move on to the next part of your plan, time is money after all. Get investors as well.”
What is the best feed back you have had from Queezibics DF® and has it inspired you to make other products?
Robert gave me a sheet with reviews written on it and pointed out his favourite and said “that says it all for me, you can’t get a better review than that.”
It says - The manger of Creature Comforts had a lady visit the shop and explained that she was on holiday with her two car sick dogs and what could he recommend? He recommended that she should try QueezibicsDF - She questioned whether they worked - purchased a carton and said “if they don’t work I will be back!” She returned nine days later and said “they worked brilliantly” and bought two more cartons!
What is your favourite dog and why?
“A Golden Retriever, I think they’re very clever but placid dogs. My dog never ever stole food off the table but would follow the children around and gently take the food straight out of their hands.”
It is clear that Robert has a very caring side to him and with his passion, drive and skills he has bought some much needed relief and remedy to hundreds, if not thousands of people and dogs who were having a pretty rough ride. How many people can say that? Just from a simple idea he has managed to push his way to the forefront of a natural remedies industry because he cared enough to stop his daughter’s friend’s morning sickness and his dear dog Norman’s travel sickness.
He told me about his plans for the future and what the next steps are for Queezibics® and I for one look forward to seeing how it all unfolds for Robert.
For me, Robert is a very inspirational man indeed!