If your dog is anything like mine, he’s always happy, hungry and up for an adventure. Car rides are good, especially if they lead to the farmers market–so many butts to sniff!–and slightly less so if they end at the groomer or the vet.
Whichever your market of choice, be it the Pearl, Quarry, Leon Valley or another, snacks and samples for human visitors abound. But how about for the perritos? “Dogs don’t like hummus,” I tell my pup Wallace every time, much to his chagrin. Fortunately for him—and the mutt in your life–there are a few market vendors that cater to the canine companions in the crowd.
PAWsitively Sweet Bakery is a local business cooking up gourmet treats for dogs using healthy, fresh and “human grade” ingredients. With a presence at the SoFlo market on Saturdays and the Rim and Eilan on Sundays, you can quite literally throw your dog a bone while shopping for organic produce and sampling people-snacks to your heart’s content.
Alexis Quiroga, a 21-year-old St. Philip’s College student studying hospitality management, is the mastermind behind the bakery. After high school, Quiroga contemplated what she wanted to do with her life. “I love baking and I love animals,” she explained to the Current, “so I combined the two.”
With products like cherry and blueberry treats, dehydrated sweet potato and apple chews, blueberry and flaxseed “Berry Good” biscuits, and peanut butter and chamomile snacks, your dog can eat better than most college students. Quiroga said that some customers swear by the health benefits they’ve seen in their pups; flaxseed improves skin and coat, while chamomile can help settle rumbly tummies.
Quiroga has partnered with area businesses to create some of her specialty goods. She makes the extra cheesy turkey biscuits, for example, with pesto sauce from Arugula Catering and Salud de Paloma brand extra virgin oil. The top-selling “Best Brew” treats, with raw honey, peanut butter and nut brown ale, incorporate spent barley and honey, victory and caramel malts from Ranger Creek Brewery, creating a pet-safe way for your dog to enjoy local beer. “It’s a pretty popular flavor,” said Quiroga, “with just a hint of beer taste but not the alcohol or hops.”
A bag of fruit chews will run you $5, while a small, 4.5-ounce bag of treats goes for $8 (or three for $20) and the medium, 6.8-ounce size for $12 (or 2 for $20). More products are available online.
Quiroga’s business is registered with the state chemist, and increasingly her products carry a guaranteed analysis, a pet food version of nutrition facts, on the label. “I use fresh fruits, vegetables and no artificial flavors,” she says; “there’s nothing on the ingredients list that you wouldn’t recognize.”