Updated: Aug 8
Pioneering a unique twist in the city's doggie dining scene, the Bark’n Bakery Toronto food truck has quickly become a pawpular spot for the canine community. The passion project of Marla Milberg and her mother Susan, this innovative mobile bakery has captured the hearts (and stomachs) of Toronto's dog community. Billed as the city's first food truck exclusively for dogs, they're proving that quality, creativity, and a love for our furry friends can make a barking success!
As Marla tells us, leaving the corporate world to launch a one-of-a-kind venture wasn't without its challenges. From perfecting pet-friendly recipes to selecting unusual toys and accessories, every step of the journey has been filled with learnings. And at the center of it all? A deep-seated desire to offer only the best for their four-legged customers.
In today's interview, Marla shares the story behind Bark'n Bakery Toronto, her take on the dog-friendly event scene, and how they’re serving up more than just treats from their dog food truck. Buckle up, readers - you're in for a delightful ride.
Key Takeaways from Our Interview with Marla
Innovation in Pet-Friendly Business: Bark'n Bakery Toronto showcases how pet-friendly businesses can break new ground, offering unique experiences like a food truck for dogs.
Navigating Challenges in the Pet Industry: Despite initial confusion, Bark'n Bakery has been able to establish a strong brand identity and clear customer understanding that they're a food truck for dogs.
Secrets to Success: While Marla playfully keeps some trade secrets under wraps, she emphasizes that extensive advertising, customer interaction, and learning quickly from experiences are key to their progress.
Q: Can you share with us the story behind Bark’n Bakery Toronto and what inspired you to start Toronto's first dog food truck?
A: I was getting sick of the corporate life with all the stresses and thought a store would be too expensive, so why not let's get a truck … and be the first! We are extremely picky when shopping for the toys and accessories and I get items that you won't normally see in any store.
Q: What types of events do you typically attend, and how do you choose which events to participate in?
A: Me and mom like to do longer shows so we look for events and festivals that have excitement surrounding them.
Q: Could you tell us about the kinds of food you offer for dogs? What are some of the fan favorites?
A: We do small batches of cookies and cupcakes with natural ingredients that don't have frosting on them which have added chemicals and preservatives. We use all-natural peanut butter for our icing and top them with our signature poop emoji meringues. Our most popular cookie is the Peanut Butter Pumpkin that we do cute dog shapes, and the cupcakes are the Banana Wild Blueberry which are delicious (yes, I eat them too), made with chickpea flour and honey is our sweetener.
Q: Are there any special considerations or regulations you have to follow when preparing and selling food for dogs?
Unfortunately, there are no regulations in place for dog food, so please be careful with your raw suppliers. For us we just know if we won't eat it or try it then there is no way we would make it for the furry butts. We hand pick or ingredients, and they are always fresh. Our products have a shelf-life like other baked goods that you would eat. We use no preservatives or freeze drying; everything is moist and yummy and ready to eat!
Q: What are some of the challenges and rewards of running a dog food truck?
A: At the beginning lots of people were asking us for coffee, thinking what the heck i[s] that, but now lots know ... its only for dogs (a few cats' toys … yes, we listened) The challenges are like another new business, but we are making it through and learning fast. Lots of advertising and interactions with everyone helps us to be better. Of the course the reward is lots of hugs and kisses!
Q: What tips do you have for others who may be interested in setting up a stall or food truck at dog-friendly events?
A: I don't have any advice for anyone that wants to get a food truck for dogs. That is my secret. :)
Q: How do you see the future of dog-friendly events, particularly in the post-pandemic world?
A: If advertised well, they will be great!
Q: What do you hope customers and their furry friends take away from their experience at Bark’n Bakery Toronto?
A: A very big smile, thinking wow, those crazy chicks are awesome, and confidence that they know that we do not overcharge ever.
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