My world changed forever in 2008 when my golden retriever, Dylan, was diagnosed with lymphoma. Caring for Dylan forced me to take a close look at the ingredients in store-bought dog treats. I did not like what I saw! I started baking my own healthy dog treats. I thought there must be other dog parents out there who would prefer healthier dog treats than were available as well.
Unfortunately we lost Dylan in July 2009. But a few months later. Nugget, a golden rescue, joined our family, and got me involved with the Golden Retriever Rescue in South Africa.
Then, in 2012, my husband and I started our dog products business. We make healthy dog treats, and we also have a line of elevated dog beds, water bowl stands, and leash holders. We picked the business name of “Tailor Made Beds & Biscuits” because our products are made specifically for the four-legged family members.
We sell our products on our website and we also exhibit at dog shows and farmers markets. Our dog treats come in three flavors:
Peanut Butter & Oats,
Peanut Butter, Oats & Coconut
Marmite & Ostrich Biltong (which is like jerky). These are South African favorites.
Future treats coming include pupcakes to celebrate dog birthdays. We are also considering making cat treats, too, as soon as our cats stop destroying the catnip we plant!
Spoiling my pup Opie is a no-brainer for me and, like many other dog lovers, I’d sacrifice items for myself to get him anything from healthcare to a new toy. Needless to say, gourmet dog treats was a typical area for me to splurge, especially since I grew up in Kansas City, where Three Dog Bakery kind of started the whole gourmet dog treat trend. In Kansas City, there are plenty of stores with all sorts of goodies, but when I moved to North Carolina I realized the selection was miniscule. I began experimenting with recipes and my passion for it blossomed.
After two layoffs in the journalism industry, I realized despite having a genuine love of reporting, it was unlikely to be the field I retired in. I always loved the idea of opening my own business, but it wasn’t until I visited a North Carolina town with my partner, Brandon, that I realized a gourmet dog treat business really is what I wanted. I did research and found out that there really is a market for this business and the trend isn’t going away anytime soon, so having a barkery was the perfect way for me to share my passion with others.
I’d like to highlight Opie, an 8-year-old Lhasapoo, and Boxers Max and Lady as the inspirations for Kansas Sweetie Barkery.
Currently Kansas Sweetie Barkery is a face-to-face and Internet based business. We market our treats through a vast network in our local community built through very public professions, including my job as a reporter. Face-to-face sales also include displays at local farmer’s markets, fairs and festivals. When it comes to internet sales, word of mouth and social media are instrumental. We utilize Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and our website to get the word out about events, new products, contests and upcoming holidays.
Our name was actually developed through brainstorming with my partner, Brandon. I knew I wanted to capitalize on my upbringing in Kansas City and all the city is known for, such as BBQ and Jazz & Blues. Brandon pitched Kansas Sweetie Treats, but we switched it to “Barkery” to better convey the true nature of the business. It is amazing how many people have never heard of a “barkery” before, but smile as soon as they realize we offer gourmet ways to treat their pooches.
We don’t have a “most popular treat” at the moment. We follow our customers and bake and develop dog cakes and dog treats according to their needs and requests. Our website has photos of each of our individual treats while our Facebook page has some shots of the process to make the treats.
I think our Red Meat Ruby Slippers is a unique product idea. These dog treats are modeled after the shoes worn by Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz”. They are beef-flavored and decorated with colored sesame seeds. We have a special Oz photo contest associated with these treats.
We do presentations at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nash/Edgecombe Counties about entrepreneurship. We have the children from the club decorate treats with what they want to be when they grow up. $1 from each sale is donated back to the club to help support the budding entrepreneurial dreams.
Jump into the pet bakery business and get tips and ideas for marketing dog treats and other pet treats.
As more and more people adopt pets and make them part of the family, they will want your products, especially to celebrate dog birthdays and for holidays.
This blog has two main purposes:
1. To share ideas and tips on how to promote your small business
2. To share YOU!
Please send us photos of your latest dog treat creations, a recipe, a photo of dogs enjoying your treats, your kitchen at its busiest, etc. and we will post them here. If you would like to write a post, we would love to publish it!
Ask questions about marketing, where to find dog bakery supplies, recipes, finding other bakers nearby, etc. and we will enlist the aid of our dog treat business community to get a good answer.
Frosting Fran, Director of Marketing for K9Cakery.com moderates the blog, and K9Cakery.com sponsors it.
In the menu bar above, we have included links for more information about dog bakery supplies, dog cake recipes, and dog treat icing and decorations for dog treats. Be sure to add your free listing to our dog bakery directory. For you enjoyment, we included links to dog quotes and dog humor.
Visit K9Cakery.com for a large assortment of dog bakery supplies and the award-winning Fido’s Frosting, dog treat frosting that will not melt!