Barkeries …The New Starbucks …

Every evening, the LoBianco family of Belmont Shore, Calif take an after dinner stroll to Wisker’s Beastro on Second Street and buy Molly their Bassett Hound a treat from the store’s amazing selection of gourmet canine confectionary.

The ritual is always the same. The dog waits patiently while five-year old Donald LoBianco scans his eye over the delectable goodies and picks out something that appeals to him. His favorite is a nutterbone consisting of two cookies sandwiched together with peanut butter and drizzled with carob. Next he taste tests the doggy treat before handing it over to Molly who scoffs it down quickly in case the kid wants a second bite.

“It’s a daily outing, that we enjoy as a family,” says Leslie LoBianco. “For Molly, it’s the doggy equivalent of a coffee at Starbucks. She also loves the free treats they hand out and howls when she knows we are getting ready for our walk. If she ever had to escape, that’s the first place I’d look for her.”

The Starbucks analogy is a good one because like the ubiquitous coffee stores, barkeries are springing up everywhere to cater to the huge growing demand for handmade doggy treats. They have become a popular meeting place for dog owners too, who afterwards do in fact stroll over to a coffee shop for some caffeine and conversation while their dogs settle down to munch on their barkery goodies.

“It’s all about spoiling your pet as you would a child. Anything that resembles human confectionary – like Oreo cookies or a cannoli, donuts or croissants has instant appeal,”

AdreAnne Tesene of Two Bostons Pet Boutique and Gourmet Bakery in Chicago, Illinois.

Bakers of gourmet doggy treats unanimously point out that they use human-grade organic ingredients and go slow on sugar and other fattening things because canines count calories too.

“And if you can’t get out to the store, you can always shop on line,” points out Kristina Robertson of Barkely Square Bakery in Alexandria, Virginia. “We can ship anything anywhere and even customize treats to take care of special dietary needs.”

Apart from fun cookies shaped like fire hydrants and postmen and Labrador-shaped cheese dogs, there is a growing demand for birthday and special occasion cakes to celebrate other doggy milestones such as passing the Good Canine Citizen test, graduating from a doggy training class and major wins in the show ring.

Of course at a doggy party, canine guests can expect to go home with a goody bag containing a delectable treat beautifully wrapped in cellophane with a bow.

According to pet storeowners, many pet parents also buy delectable munchies as “distraction treats” to keep their pets temporarily occupied when they have to go out or attend to something around the house.

“I’ve tried it. But it doesn’t work in our house,” laughs Marc Rumaner of Naperville, Illinois. “One year, my wife went out and bought what she dubbed ‘Oscar Treats’, huge pup cakes to sidetrack our dogs Igloo, a Samoyed and Tundra a Malamute so that we could watch the Academy Awards on TV. Of course they’d woofed them down before the opening credits were over but the name stuck. Now when we mention ‘Oscar Treats’ they bolt straight for the kitchen. They know exactly what award is coming up next …”


This article is from DogFancy Magazine

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