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My Hampstead: Healthy dog biscuit entrepreneur Leean Young on saving Hampstead’s pubs

09:00 17 May 2014

Leean and Sam Young with dog Nacho and their healthy Sniffy

Leean and Sam Young with dog Nacho and their healthy Sniffy's biscuits. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

Dog biscuit entrepreneur Leean Young, 32, worked as a presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live before launching her range of healthy dog treats, Lovesniffys, with husband Sam. The couple, who live in New End, have been instrumental in the ongoing campaign to save The Old White Bear pub in Well Road.

What brought you to Hampstead?

I came to Hampstead nine years ago having just finished uni and been travelling. We were sofa surfing as we didn’t have anywhere to stay and ended up at an uncle’s flat in Hampstead – we fell in love with the area and never left!

How has it changed since you arrived?

A few shops and cafés have changed and we’ve lost a few that we liked but we’ve also gained some new ones like the amazing Hampstead Butcher!

What is the area’s best kept secret?

I would say the view from Holly Hill of London – it’s beautiful after having a drink at The Holly Bush!

And what makes you smile on your way home?

There’s a little street near us where the children play outside and do chalk drawings and games on the pavement – it always makes me smile (and occasionally I play hop scotch!) – where else would you get that in London?!

If you were editor of the Ham&High for a day, what local issue would you champion?

Ah now that’s an easy one. Our local pubs. Hampstead is special not just because of the people that live here but also the unique village atmosphere. This is epitomised in the local pubs – The Duke, The Wells, The Flask to name a few and we need to make sure they stay around. The closing of the Old White Bear had a big impact on me personally as it was a local hub to meet my neighbours, some of whom I never would have met otherwise. These places are essential for the community and we must all make sure they’re here to stay. We don’t need multi-million pound homes instead of community hubs as Hampstead would not be the unique area it is without these places.

What advice do you have to help dog owners keep their pets healthy?

Another easy one! Make sure they have lots of walks and runs on the Heath whilst being fed low fat treats by Lovesniffys!

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

There have been a few. One is a local resident – Angela Humphery, who raises awareness and money for animal welfare – she is amazing and selfless. The other is Jill Robinson MBE – the most incredible woman changing the face of animal welfare in China. I went to visit her sanctuary that saves moon bears from the shocking practice of bear bile farming in Chengdu last year and it blew me away.

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?

I hope all dogs go to heaven!

Leean Young was in conversation with Tom Marshall

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