Every good dog has its day. So goes an old saying. But does every good dog get a unique homemade treat? Laura Agnew believes they should.
Agnew is creator and the chef behind Laura’s Loveables, which offers a host of gifts and treats for dogs. After fashioning and selling her homemade snacks out of her home the past four years, Agnew is thrilled
to have her products in the storefront of Dark Horse Pet Boutique in the industrial park. Her treats were on display when Dark Horse celebrated its grand opening Wednesday.
“To be honest, I always thought I’d just be doing it out of my home, kind of here and there, maybe some vendor shows,” says Agnew. “But it’s been an absolute opportunity. It’s been an honour and I can’t but thank Dawn, and Monica, too. Dawn has come up with a beautiful store. It”s such a homey environment.”
Dawn is Dawn Massicotte, Showroom Manger at Dark Horse, and Monica is Monica Cowan, a mutual friend who helped bring the two together.
“We have a vision for this store,” says Massicotte, “to support local people. There are a lot of people with great ideas on Facebook or great ideas in their head, that don’t know where to go or they don’t have the
money to showcase their ideas in a craft or vendor show. We’re here to help with that part of it.” Dawn credits owners Blair McLeod and Wendy Booth with that vision. On top of standard pet foods, the offers natural natural remedies and food chews. The emphasis on local is everywhere at Dark Horse, from the
furniture to the artwork on the showroom’s walls.
Dog and cat owners looking for unique pet furnishings, like custom scratching posts and feeding stations need only tell Dark Horse of their idea. No concept is too exotic.
“If you think of it, we can make it,” says Massicotte. “We’re developing our website and we want to export our wood products. For now, it’s in-store only but we want to ship them anywhere in the world and we’re working towards that. It’s coming.”
Agnew’s homemade treats fits the Dark Horse concept. The right idea at the right time at the right store. Agnew says there was room in the market for new treat ideas.
“I just find that there’s a lot of common dog treats. Biscuits…bones, that kind of thing. I wanted to do something out of the box, unique stuff. It’s all natural. I don’t use any preservatives or artificial flavours. It’s 100 per cent natural. You could eat it, your dog could or your kids could eat it. It’s good stuff.”
What do we proudly present to that well-behaved, most-deserving pet? How about treat-filled cone dipped in peanut butter? It was Agnew’s first creation, one that inspired her to dream up others.
“That’s where it all started, with the cones, about four-and-a-half years ago,” she says. “I sold 500 that year.”
A ‘puppuccino’, featuring a homemade pumpkin mix topped with whipped cream? Doggone it, sounds good. The cones and the ‘cap are a couple of the creations Agnew has presented to her two beloved taste-testers, Mika, her seven-year-old Airdale Terrier-Australian Shepherd-Alaskan Malamute mix, and six-year-old cairn wheaten terrier, Myla.
The pair have dutifully – happily – served as testers of all of Agnew’s creations. They know when there’s a work in progress don’t tend to stray from the job site. “They’re right right at my feet in the kitchen and they know when the treats are coming out,” says Agnew. “They get to test everything that comes out
of the oven and everything I have given them has been a win so far,” she says, laughing. In today’s world, people want nothing but the best for their fur babies, and want to have nothing but the best ingredients and the best unique treats to choose from.”
If a dog has a special diet or diet restrictions, no problem, says Agnew. “I do cupcakes and cakes also. There’s a lot of people who have dogs that can’t have grain or wheat. So I do a lot of grain-free orders. Meat cakes.
If dogs are allergic to chicken, I can do beef or pork. If there’s any allergies or sensitivities, I can definitely work with that.” With her products on the shelf at Dark Horse, Agnew wants to build on her line of treats and their success.
“Down the line I’d to do some home-made biscuits,” she says, adding “monthly stuff” such as treats for Christmas, Hallowe’en and Valentine’s Day are also in her plans.
“Everybody else gets gifts on holidays and sometimes we don’t really think of our pets, and they deserve a special treat, too.”
Dark Horse Pet Boutique is located at 500 Industrial Park Crescent