I thoroughly enjoy baking treats for my friends and family. Cakes, cookies, pastries, pies, tarts, breads, cupcakes, macarons. There is nothing quite like sharing something fresh, sweet and homemade with the ones you love.
I am always scouring websites, recipe books and magazines for new baking ideas. So how are these names for baked goods? Peanut Butter Pups, Chompin’ Chocolate, Barkin’ Banana, Sausage Dog Swirls and Waggin’ Tail White Chocolate Chip?
The lovely Emma and Andy of Sweet Chops have recognised man’s best friend is also part of the family. They produce and sell dog-friendly gourmet treats. The treats are just so adorable, I could not resist posting about Sweet Chops.
One day I will have a Pug, French Bulldog, English Bulldog or Boston Terrier to call my own. I will then have to expand my own repertoire of baked goods – or just buy from Sweet Chops.
In the meantime, I asked Emma a few questions about starting Sweet Chops with her partner Andy. And also about her official taste taster, her faithful Labrador, Noogie.
What was your inspiration to create Sweet Chops?
It really came down to the fact that I love cupcakes and I love dogs. I was looking for a hobby/small business idea outside of work and my partner actually suggested over a few wines that we should make cupcakes for dogs. It seems to have grown from there.
Have you always liked baking?
I’ve always enjoyed baking but there was only so much baking that my waistline could handle. This was a fun twist on it that was a bit kinder to my figure!.
What treat do you enjoy making the most?
I love cupcakes but the lollipups are definitly the most fun to make. They’re so cute, smell delicious (apple and cinnamon) and I always get a good laugh from customers at the markets.
Which treat has been the most challenging?
Each of our treats have had their challenges. Learning to bake with gluten free flour has been the biggest hurdle, especially the cookie doughs when you need to firmer consistency to hold it together. It’s also quite challenging to find replacement ingredients where we need a dog safe alternative. A straight swap with say for example honey instead of sugar doesn’t always work so there is lots of trial and error.
What is your best selling treat?
The Peanut Butter Pups are definitely the most popular cupcake. Most dogs love peanut butter and there is good ‘lick value’! The lollipups are also really popular because they have a high ‘cuteness’ factor and they’re good value because dogs can eat the whole thing (the stick is a rawhide chew) .
How do you research the ingredients that are nutritionally sound for dogs?
I’ve done a lot of research online and in books. There are loads of great books about dog nutrition. I’d also done a lot of research into nutrition when considering food options for our own pooch. The US also has a lot of great dog bakeries that I draw inspiration from as well as read up about dog friendly ingredients.
What is the most rewarding part of Sweet Chops?
I love the creative side – seeing a new goodie come together is really rewarding and then taking it to the markets and getting really good feedback from new and existing customers.
How many treats does Noogie eat in a week?
mmmm.. Noogie is the official taste tester so he always gets to taste the treats when we’re working on new ideas. It is difficult not to slip him a treat on two when we’re baking.. it’s those big brown eyes.. Depending on the dog, a couple of treats per week is ok.
:: Check out Sweet Chops at http://sweetchops.com.au/ ::