Christina’s not ‘Impawssible’ business dream
Dogs of Bermuda no longer have to beg, borrow or outright steal their favourite baked treats. They can now order them through the Sargasso Sea app.
Christina Roberts, owner of new pet bakery, Impawssible Treats, is using the app to sell dog friendly cookies, ‘pupcakes’ and mini doughnuts.
“I wanted to start my own business for the past year,” Ms Roberts said.
Previously she spent several years working in the hospitality industry in nightclubs, restaurants and bars.
“I wanted to have more freedom in my life instead of working for someone else,” she said. “I am a big traveller. I have been to 12 different countries by myself in the past two and a half years. That is what I want to do long term, but it is difficult to do that working for someone else. I thought it was time to take the plunge.”
She fiddled around with different ideas, but for one reason or another they didn’t work out. Then the answer came to her during a 1am internet search.
“I googled business ideas for 2020,” she said. “Number 76 was a pet bakery. I thought, that’s interesting.”
Researching the idea further she learnt that many popular pet bakeries in the US were making things you would see in a human bakery with pet safe ingredients.
“I thought, I can totally do that,” she said.
She drew up her own logo, and bought equipment such as a food processor and a mixer, from International Imports in Hamilton.
She found recipes online with simple ingredients such as Carob, honey, coconut oil, and eggs.
“I just had to buy gluten free flour,” she said. “Then I just started baking.”
But she still has a few kinks to work out in the baking process.
“On Friday I had two orders and I started at 4pm and didn’t officially finish until 11pm at night,” she said. “It was just the fact that I have only one mixer. I had to constantly wash it out. And I had three different colour doughs I was working with. I think I will have to get more equipment.”
She is a delivery driver for Sargasso Sea, so she understood the process for getting products sold on the site.
“It took about a week to get me on Sargasso,” she said.
Ms Roberts was really happy when she received a photo of her first canine customer enjoying her mini doughnuts made with Greek yoghurt frosting and unsweetened coconut flakes.
“A friend of mine ordered some for her dog,” Ms Roberts said. “When she sent a photo I thought okay the dog is not dead. (Laughter) That is great! And my friend said the treats smelled really good and she wanted to take a bite too.”
As much as she is enjoying baking for the canine crowd, she does not actually own a dog herself. She always wanted one, but her parents did not. Now she has two cats.
So far, her feline friends have not been impressed with her baked goods.
“I gave my cats some of my ‘pupcakes’ and they turned their noses up at them,” she said. “They just played with it and swatted it. But I do plan on doing cat treats in the future. I guess I would make them mainly out of meat.”
So far, she is feeling optimistic about her new business.
“There is definitely a space in the market in Bermuda,” she said. “I don’t personally know of anyone who is doing this. I know people who make pet cookies, but not anyone who does doughnuts and cupcakes. I have ideas for doing apple pies creme brûlée for dogs.”
Ms Roberts said the dog version of creme brûlée would involve yoghurt and monkfruit.
“Then you just torch it,” she said.
She tries to avoid sugar and grain in her products for dogs, and some of her baked goods are also dairy free.
“I know some dogs are sensitive to that,” she said. “My ingredients are always listed so the owners can make the best choice for their dogs.”
In the business goes well she might expand into other items such as customised pet collars.
Impawssible Treats deliveries are only on Saturdays. For more information see them on the Sargasso Sea app or on Facebook @impawssibletreats or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.