Hounded For My Pupcakes
What started as a barking mad idea soon turned into a successful business for Emily...
Opening the oven, the scent of freshly baked biscuits filled the air. It wasn’t long before I heard a pitter-patter of feet on the kitchen floor. My taste tester had arrived.
Looking down at his eager little face, I couldn’t resist it.
‘OK, just one treat. You don’t want to spoil your appetite,’ I laughed, handing him a biscuit.
Panting and wagging his tail, he soon scoffed the whole lot.
Minty, my chocolate Labrador, really loved my baked treats – and biscuits were his real favourite.
But these were no ordinary biccies – they were bacon-andcheese flavour.
Made with dog-friendly ingredients, they were perfect for my discerning pup!
When he wagged his tail for more, I knew they’d got his woof of approval.
It’s not just Minty who’s barking for my treats, though.
I cater to a whole host of furry fourlegged customers.
Since I set up the Canine Cupcake Kitchen in 2014, my pupcakes have sold like, well, hot cakes!
I started baking four years ago, after having my daughter, Phoebe, who’s now 3.
A full-time mum to her and my son, Noah, now 8, I took up cake decorating to earn a bit of extra cash.
I loved whipping up tasty treats, too.
Cakes, biscuits, brownies…
‘I’ll lick the bowl,’ Noah would offer.
Then, last September, I set up a cake stall at a local dog show.
And, of course, I didn’t want any hounds who were going to the show to go without a little something, either.
So I found a recipe online for dog biscuits and whipped up a big batch. And they went down a treat! ‘You should make a business out of your doggy cakes,’ one woman suggested to me.
She must be barking… I thought at first.
But, over the next few days, I found I couldn’t stop thinking about her suggestion.
‘I’ve got nothing to lose,’ I said to my partner, William, 27.
So I found more dog-friendly
I was so doggone happy my canine cakes were popular!
recipes online and began baking different treats – chicken-flavoured cakes, bacon-and-cheese biscuits, carrot-andcoconut cookies… ‘They don’t smell like chocolate cakes,’ Noah said, sounding unimpressed. Minty was more than happy to give them a try, though. ‘You can be my chief taste tester,’ I told him. If he turned his snout up, I knew the treats were no good. But when he gobbled them up, I knew I was onto a winner. Next, I set up a Facebook page, ready to sell the treats online. Within days, orders were flooding in. ‘It’s really taking off,’ I laughed to William, in shock. Soon, I was baking dog treats every day to keep up with demand. My puppy loves your chicken and bacon cakes, one woman e-mailed me. Can you bake a carrot cake for my dog’s birthday please? another owner asked. I was so doggone happy that my canine cakes were popular! Over the next few months, I began experimenting with different flavours and recipes.
In time, I concocted some bacon-flavoured pup-corn.
And, of course, Minty was the first to try it. Licking his lips, he scoffed the lot.
With Minty’s approval, I began selling bags of pup-corn to my customers.
He loved being the first to try all of my pooch-friendly treats and was a brilliant judge.
‘What would I do without you,’ I grinned, making a big fuss of my lovely hound. But, sadly, in September last year, Minty passed away from old age. I was lost without my kitchen buddy, but knew Minty wouldn’t have wanted me to stop baking.
So, for Halloween, I cooked some sweet potato ghosts, with Phoebe helping me out.
Then, that October, William and I adopted a pup from Central German Shepherd Rescue.
Saxon quickly settled in. And, while he’ll never replace Minty, he’s now my kitchen apprentice.
He’s more fussy than our Minty ever was. He’ll have a sniff and lick before he tucks in. And he soon lets me know if he’s not satisfied.
Now I’m working on turkeyand-cranberry cookie canes for the festive season.
I still can’t believe how well my cakes are selling – seems dogs just woof them down!
Within days, orders were flooding in
Another satisfied customer!
IS THIS THE GREAT BRITISH BARK 0FF? Minty was my top taste tester
This one takes the biscuit!
Saxonõs my new apprentice!