Pet treat bakery serves customers and young staff

Several years after staff at Daybreak Emergency Shelter had been tossing around ideas for a business venture for their young homeless clients, executive director Linda Kramer read about how well the pets treat business was doing in the recession.

So she researched trends and various facets of the business and pitched her idea to one of Daybreak’s donors. The donor gave seed money to buy refurbished and new equipment for a vacant building already owned by Daybreak.

Lindy’s Gourmet Pet Treats has been operating since October.

What: Lindy’s Gourmet Pet Treats, 823 Wayne Ave.

What the business does: A pet treat bakery, Lindy’s has Daybreak youth and three staff members who bake, package and ship a variety of pet treats through store sales, fairs, and online orders.

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“We currently have nine treats and are working on new ones, including specialty designs,” said Kramer. All treats are made of natural ingredients with no preservatives.

“We’re experimenting with gluten-free treats now, and are working up a business marketing plan to work with other retailers to get our treats in their stores,” said Kramer.

What makes the business stand out: The goal of the shop is to get homeless kids ready to be self-sustaining adults, and it’s working, according to Kramer.

“The kids bake, work with customers in sales, fill orders, and work on our website. We usually have five-to-eight youth workers in various parts of the bakery and sales positions, and they also do home parties and work with vendors.

“It teaches them about teamwork, initiative and attitude – they even have staff meetings. The way the kids work helps us to assess good job matches for them.”

How the business started: After Kramer’s idea was accepted, Ashley’s Pastry Shop worked with the chef at Daybreak for eight months. The owners let her use their kitchen and helped to test recipes, while she also learned how to work with the Department of Agriculture. Ashley’s also helped with what equipment and upgrades would be needed in a functioning bakery.

After the eight months of learning, “we had evolved to a point we needed to be in our own space,” said Kramer.

Lindy, the shop’s namesake, is one of the donor’s golden retriever

.

Customer comment: “My dog loves their treats, and I shared them with a coworker and his dog loves them,” said Kettering resident Jill Parker. “I feel good knowing that they’re natural. My 30-year-old daughter even tasted some and said ‘not bad.’ I’ll definitely be back in for more.”

Contact Information: Lindy’s hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, and 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays; phone is

937-395-4612; and website is wwwlindyandcompany.org

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