Diana Farrar, owner of Fifi and Fidos Pet Boutique, swears her customers' dogs know when they're going to get a treat from her store.
"We have people that don't want me to put the treat in a bag because their dog will recognize the bag," Farrar said. "I even know people who can't drive down Broadway because their dogs will think they're coming here and go crazy in the car."
The hyper tail wagging is triggered, Farrar says, by the dogs' love for the special gourmet treats she sells. From cookies decorated like pigs and monkeys to carob-based candies, Farrar has a homemade treat for every occasion. "Tell me that's not something that looks like it came from Central Market," Farrar said as she showed off a fancy doggie birthday cake decorated with yogurt frosting. "I can't keep these in stock!"
What Farrar also can't keep on her shelves are gourmet treats made by local independent bakers, partly because there are so very few in San Antonio. Aside from being almost impossible to find people working locally in this type of pet-food business, the shelf life for most homemade treats is very short unless the treats are refrigerated. Also, all pet food has to meet federal standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials and get licensed and labeled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Local pet bakery Katie's Jar is one of the very few in San Antonio that has gone the distance. Owned by Andrea Thompson and operated out of her home, Katie's Jar — named after Thompson's beagle — sells its dog-friendly chicken churros, savory empanadas with "puppy picadillo," and tasty "pupcakes" every Sunday at the Quarry Farmer and Rancher's Market.
In the future, Thompson hopes to own her own doggie gourmet food truck so she can take her treats on the road and sell her products in dog parks across the city.
"This is a very unique business here," Thompson said. "I have friends in California that say they can't go a block without seeing a dog bakery, so maybe we can start that trend here."
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.