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Barker Street

Posted by Woodlands Traveler on April 6, 2012 in Business Spotlight, Dog Park, Non Profit |

Barker Street Bakery

Oh, for the love of dog!

 

Business Spotlight April 2012

We’ve been members of the South Montgomery County – Woodlands Chamber of Commerce for going on three years now and have had the opportunity to meet a number of wonderful business owners throughout our community. But all of us have such busy schedules, it’s rare when we can sit down and talk for any length of time about who we are and what we do. We had the chance to do just that, however, when we sat down with Tanya and Aaron Ogden, owners of Barker Street Bakery just the other day.

Barker Street Bakery didn’t always belong to the Ogdens, but like parents to and adopted stray, you’d never know the difference, as they pour their hearts into building a business they can be proud to call their own. The original owner’s concept was born from a need to fill a niche – they had an English Bulldog which suffered from nearly every allergy a dog can, and finding foods, treats and toys that were both safe for their pet as well as nutritional and enjoyable was difficult at best. It seems that though one can pick up a bag of dog chow or a box of treats at any Petco, PetSmart, Target or Wal-Mart, it’s surprisingly hard to find specialty items for those that have the need without going directly to your vet, and quite possibly considerable expense. And for those that think hey, my dog’s fine eating any old thing he finds on the ground, so what’s so bad about bargain dog food? Consider this – many of those cheaper chows are chock full of additives, and some of those can be of such dismal quality you may be shocked to learn they can even include – ugh – dog!

Woodlands Dog Bakery

Aaron and Tanya have a love of dogs that goes far beyond what (we think) a majority of people who say they “love dogs” have. As founders of Guardian Pitbull Rescue – which they established together in 2010 after having both served as volunteers in animal shelters and seeing countless Pitbulls passed over for adoption year after year – Barker Street Bakery felt like the perfect fit in combination with their mission to give as many dogs as possible a better life. “There’s this deep-set, false belief that Pitbulls are the most dangerous breed [based on media coverage],” Tanya told us. “It makes people shy away from and fear some of the most wonderful and loving dogs; they don’t even know what they’re missing.” In fact, it’s statistically more likely that an unprovoked dog bite will come from a Labrador than from a Pitbull. But it’s far more likely that you’ll hear about it on the news when it’s a Pitbull.

In August, 2011, the opportunity to purchase Barker Street came about – through The Chamber, no less. Tanya had been assigned to Barker Street as their ambassador (ambassadors in The Chamber help newer members to meet other members and establish a strong foothold in the community) when the then-owner asked if she knew of anyone who might be interested in taking over. “Did I know anyone? Yeah!” And in less than a year’s time, the Ogdens have remodeled the store, added some great loyalty programs (with some new ideas in the works), changed the logo and changed the hours. But they haven’t changed the mission.

Gourmet Dog Treats

Barker Street Bakery offers a whole range of 100% human-consumable, hand-made dog treats. You read that right; everything they make is perfectly safe for humans to eat. Not that you’d want to eat everything they make (liver cookie, anyone?). But Tanya laughed at the skepticism in our eyes and told us everyone always thinks it can’t be true, and she loves to surprise them with a little something from the glassed-on treat cases. “Here, try a peanut butter cup,” she said. We ever-so-cautiously tried the tiniest of nibbles as she explained that as chocolate is toxic to dogs, they make their peanut butter cups with carob, a legume that is used as a chocolate substitute and does not contain theobromine, the alkaloid found in chocolate which is toxic. The peanut butter of course is just peanut butter. We wouldn’t have believed it had we not tried it, but actually? Those peanut butter cups are delicious! And addictive!

Baker Street Dog TreatsIn addition to the peanut butter cups, Barker Street bakes up pastries, cookies, cakes and pup-cakes. They can and do make special cakes for special occasions. Birthday cakes decorated with a yogurt-based frosting, as well as decorated cookies suitable for gift-giving. Barker Street also carries a full line of all-natural, specialty foods from Taste of the Wild and Origins that can’t be found anywhere else in the area, not even most vet’s offices. And while these foods may be slightly more expensive that commercial foods, when you consider you only need to feed your dog about two cups of these foods, versus the five cups of the bargain brands to get anywhere near the same nutritional value, there’s really no comparison.

Barker Street also carries a huge assortment of collars, leashes, dishes, treats, shampoos, accessories and more. Tanya tells us she puts hours of research into every item they sell, ensuring the quality of the items offered and that they’ll be both safe for your pet as well as long-lasting. There’s even a local vendor that supplies them with custom-made collars and dog beds. They even offer dog beds in a suitcase – the interior of the suitcase is waterproof and can easily be cleaned out as needed in order to eliminate spills and other canine mishaps.

Besides being open six days a week, and running a Pitbull rescue, and having events throughout the community to support shelter animal adoptions, and meeting up with other Pitbull owners for weekly walks on The Waterway, and both Aaron and Tanya having full-time jobs and being parents – they still find time to offer a once a month Yappy Hour at Barker Street. Each Yappy Hour event is held for the benefit of a local animal rescue organization (there’s one for any number of breeds), with 100% of the day’s proceeds going to the particular organization of the day, as well as 10% of all sales made at the bakery that day. As it turns out, this month’s Yappy Hour is for the benefit of Guardian Pitbull Rescue, and will be held on Saturday, April 15 from 1:00 – 4:00 PM. At each month’s Yappy Hour, some fabulous raffle prizes are given away. And you don’t even have to own a dog to enjoy what they have to offer. For example, this month’s prizes include a ride in a biplane along with VIP passes to Wings Over Houston and the Blue Angels, a golf outing, an iPad, a “date basket” with gift certificates to a high-end eatery and other assorted goodies. The raffle prizes are on display throughout the month at Barker Street, and tickets may be purchased for specific items. Tickets are only $5 each, or get five for $20 or 15 for $50. But if you do have a dog, be sure to bring him or her along! Camp Bow-wow will be on hand, giving some lucky bitches (you knew we had to throw that in there) a “pawdicure” and Elements Massage will be providing puppy massages.

happy dog tail hook hangers

As the expression goes, this one’s for the dogs. All dogs are welcome at Barker Street Bakery. It’s perfectly ordinary to walk in and find members of the staff down on the floor playing with visiting dogs, or dogs running around playing together. Barker Street does ask that if you know your pet is especially skittish or nervous that for safety’s sake you keep them leashed. Still, don’t be surprised to see someone come around the counter or out of the back and want to love all over your dog.

If you’d like to learn more about Barker Street Bakery, you can visit their website, but really there’s no better way to get a feel for all the love they have to offer your special pet than by stopping in. Barker Street Bakery is open Monday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. They’re located at 442 Sawdust Road, at the northeast corner of Sawdust and Budde Road behind the Verizon Wireless store. Give them a call at (281) 465-1703. Guardian Pitbull Rescue is a 501(c)3 nonprofit establishment. If you’d like to know more about Guardian Pitbull Rescue, or about Pitbulls as a breed, you can visit their website, or better yet, stop in during Yappy Hour next weekend or on any given Sunday out on The Waterway, where they meet with other Pitbull owners at 4:30 PM in front of the Waterway Parking Garage.

Related:

A dog’s life

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