Doggie delicacies | SteamboatToday.com

Doggie delicacies

New barkery serves up cakes, candy for Steamboat canines

Melinda Dudley

Casey Smith’s latest bakery creation is a birthday cake, frosted with peanut butter and low-fat cream cheese, with “Happy Birthday McGowen” written across the top in script.

However, Pupcakes Barkery’s “Barkday Cake” is not intended for human consumption – it’s a birthday treat for a Steamboat Springs canine.

Smith and his wife, Melanie, began serving up snacks and desserts for the four-legged at their new store last month. Before relocating, the Smiths lived in Colorado Springs, where Melanie owned a dog grooming business.

A few years ago, Melanie started making and selling dog treats, but when it came time to open a dedicated, full-time dog bakery, the Smiths decided Steamboat Springs was the place.

“Everyone we’ve talked to said this is the ideal place to do this, because everyone has a dog, and everyone loves their dog,” Casey said. “It’s a very pet-friendly community.”

Steamboat’s new dog bakery is part of a national trend of increasing sales in pet products, or even pet “spoiling,” said Polly Thornton, an employee at downtown’s Felix and Fido pet boutique.

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“In general, the pet industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the nation,” Thornton said. “The dog industry is taking off by leaps and bounds. : It’s amazing how many people like to dress up their dogs and need a new collar every month.”

Pupcakes Barkery can make arrangements to cater canine birthday parties, from a cake for the guest of honor to individual cupcake-style “pupcakes” for attendees, Casey said.

“A lot of people do parties and stuff for their dogs – it’s more common than you would think,” Casey said.

The Barkery’s display cabinets are loaded with freshly baked dog treats of all kinds, from bones and biscuits to cookies and truffles. Seasonal cookies and gift baskets also are available for those who want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their pets.

Pupcakes Barkery’s assortment of dog biscuits, cookies and other treats have no added sugar or preservatives and are whipped up with ingredients common to the human palate, including cheese, peanut butter, yogurt and beef broth. Chocolaty treats are made with carob, since dogs should not consume chocolate, Casey said.

“Everything we use is stuff you and I would eat,” he said.

While the Smiths’ three dogs are their primary product-tasters, the owners do their part as well.

“Our slogan is ‘People tasted – puppy approved,’ Casey said. “I’ve eaten every single one of these, and I’m still here.”

Some of the Barkery’s biggest sellers so far have been the Apple Critters flavor of their boxed dog cookies and dog bones in barbeque and peanut butter flavors, Casey said.

Casey is currently working on mastering a recipe for dog pretzels. Puppy pizzas are next on his list. A dry cookie bar, where owners can bag a pound of their pet’s favorites snacks, also is in the works, and cat treats are under consideration, he said.

– To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

If you go

What: Pupcakes Barkery

Where: 1890 Loggers Lane, Unit E, west of downtown Steamboat Springs off U.S. Highway 40

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday