A SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD college student has launched a ‘marvellously’ distinctive business from her home in Kendal.

Keen baker Kaitlin Neiland was inspired by her nine-year-old Border Terrier to create something that was severely lacking in the animal food market.

At the end of 2015 Miss Neiland’s dog, called Mere, became severely sick with stomach problems and the family had to spend hundreds of pounds in steroid injections to make her well.

However what eventually led to Mere getting better was when she was placed on a grain-free diet, and since then she has been in top form.

Miss Neiland, who studies forensic science at Kendal College, said she was playing with the idea of launching a grain-free, gluten-free and vegan dog treats back in September but it was not until Christmas when her business really took off.

“If I had a pound for every time someone said I should go on Dragons Den and The Apprentice on BBC I wouldn’t need to go on it,” she said jokingly.

“But it has been such a brilliant adventure and my mum has been phenomenal in helping me, it’s become our very own little family business.”

The college student launched her Mere Marvellous business with the aim that in a few months time she would be able to do sell the treats at a number of fairs and for local shops to stock her new products.

Miss Neiland does all the baking herself and sells a variety of grain-free treats from Banana and Beetroot Bonbons, Puppermint Hearts, Peanut Butter and GingerSnaps to the Sweet Pawtato Treats.

While doing all of this the entrepreneur is also learning how to drive and works part time at Armstrong Ward Cafe in Kendal.

“This business has certainly taken me outside my comfort zone,” she said. “But it’s taken me places where I wouldn’t have gone, and it’s given me another perspective to my life.

“I’m also extremely grateful to my mum who has helped me with a lot of it.

“One of the worst parts was sending the tester packages and just waiting for the results to see whether dogs would like it- and they loved it."

She added: “It’s inspired me to keep going and I’m just excited to see where this can take me.

“I’m hoping in a few months time to expand on the recipes and do online deliveries.”

For more information about the treats on offer visit Miss Neiland’s website merelymarvellous.wixsite.com/website.