How Puppy Cake Uncovered Hidden Opportunities and Scaled to $2 Million with

  • Quick read

Kelly Costello's Journey to E-Commerce Success with Puppy Cake

In August 2017, Kelly Costello founded Puppy Cake, a company dedicated to creating cake and ice cream mixes for dogs. In just three years, Puppy Cake harnessed the power of e-commerce to grow its sales to over $2 million. Puppy Cake operates two websites: a direct-to-consumer site ( and a wholesale site (


It Starts with a "Big Idea"

Kelly's inspiration for Puppy Cake struck while she was working on a marketing project at her previous job. "I was working for a sales and marketing firm, reviewing old cake mix ads for a client, and thought, ‘Wouldn't it be great if these were made for dogs? People love their dogs,’ and that was my light bulb moment," Kelly explained. "I realized, 'I can do that!'" Kelly took her idea to Shark Tank, gaining valuable publicity and advice despite not securing a deal. Following struggles with two other e-commerce platforms, Puppy Cake transitioned to based on a recommendation from another Shark Tank contestant.

Leveraging Industry Experience

Kelly's background in the consumer packaged goods industry provided her with critical insights into the importance of e-commerce for brand building.


"E-commerce was essential for proof of concept and reaching the first $500k in sales. Direct-to-consumer sales have high profit margins and are easier to secure than retail partnerships."


Kelly also aimed for Puppy Cake products to be featured in physical retail locations, recognizing the need to transition to a business-to-business model to achieve substantial growth.

Overcoming Challenges

Kelly encountered significant challenges with previous e-commerce platforms. Both Volusion and SAP Anywhere revealed limitations as Puppy Cake's retail and wholesale websites expanded.


"Inventory was a huge problem. I couldn't track sales or manage inventory effectively with Volusion."


SAP Anywhere, which promised to solve these issues, ended up being a major setback. This experience highlighted the need for a reliable, integrated e-commerce solution.


"The on-boarding process was awful, and after investing significant money and time, SAP Anywhere abruptly shut down."

Finding the Right Fit with

Puppy Cake needed an e-commerce platform that could handle both a retail website and a wholesale site, sharing a single inventory system.


"I needed a solution with robust B2B functionality, protected logins, and comprehensive reporting."


Based on a recommendation from her Shark Tank colleague, Stefan Arstal, she discovered The platform's multi-store tools and detailed reporting capabilities perfectly matched Puppy Cake's needs.

Why Was the Perfect Choice

  • Multi-Store Inventory Control

Kelly prioritized finding a solution that could manage inventory efficiently across both retail and wholesale websites.


"Inventory management is crucial for us because our products are perishable. provided the perfect solution to our pain points, and I was willing to invest in the right product."


  • Robust Data Reporting's reporting features are essential for Puppy Cake. The accessibility of key data points, like top products and top customers, helps Kelly develop effective sales strategies.


"Time is money. Having all reports in one place saves me a lot of time. The dashboard's year-over-year sales data helps me understand my business performance quickly."


  • Operational Efficiency

Improving operational efficiency was another goal for Puppy Cake. Kelly integrated with her manufacturing resource planning software, Katana MRP, through custom-developed middleware.


"This integration saved us tens of thousands of dollars by automating order and inventory management."


  • Platform Value's cost-effectiveness was another significant advantage.


" is more affordable than other options like Shopify, which takes a percentage of sales. The platform's pricing structure and integrated payment services help us save money that we can reinvest in critical areas like marketing and staffing."


  • B2B Functionality's robust B2B features were crucial for Puppy Cake's growth. The platform's user-friendly shopping cart also supported Puppy Cake's B2B sales, which make up 90% of their business.


"We needed password-protected logins and detailed reporting to ensure product freshness for our wholesale and retail customers."


  • Scalability

Puppy Cake experienced rapid growth without incurring high costs.


"'s pricing based on bandwidth rather than sales volume means we can scale economically. This is in contrast to platforms like Shopify, which can become very expensive as sales increase."

Making the Final Decision

Kelly wanted a reliable e-commerce partner after her experience with SAP Anywhere.


" has been around since 2005, and their reputation was important to me. I wanted a partner that would be around for the long haul."

Major Accomplishments

  • Puppy Cake Peanut Butter is the 2nd best-selling cake mix on Amazon
  • Launching Puppy Scoops Ice Cream doubled the business overnight
  • Puppy Scoops Ice Cream Mix won 2nd Place in the "New Product Showcase-Natural Pet" at Global Pet Expo in 2015
  • Carob Chip Cookie Mix won the "New Product Showcase-Natural Pet" at Global Pet Expo in 2014
  • Puppy Cake appeared on Shark Tank - Season 3
  • Won "Best in Show" at Global Pet Expo in 2018

About SellerActive by

SellerActive, powered by, is a leading multichannel management platform founded in 2011. Our platform enables e-commerce businesses to effortlessly expand their product reach across numerous channels, including Amazon, Walmart, TikTok, eBay, and more. With features such as centralized product catalog creation, automated repricing technology capturing the Buy Box up to 72% of the time, and streamlined inventory syncing and order routing. Whether you're seeking managed services or a DIY approach, SellerActive by offers top-rated support and proven success in online sales channels and marketplaces. New customers have achieved an average sales growth of 22% in the first 60-days, without expanding their workforce. Unlock the full potential of your online business with