Beau lives an enjoyable life in Edmonds, just north of Seattle. He's a happy, almost-three-year-old Morkie (a mix of a Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier) who loves taking walks in his neighborhood and eating cheese. But Beau's life looks a little different than most other Edmonds pups: he has a bakery named after him and gets first dibs on testing out new flavors. His bakery doesn't have apple pie on the menu or cinnamon rolls or even a sugar cookie. Beau's Lil Barkery is all about dog treats made exclusively from human-grade ingredients.
Beau's best bud and barkery owner Nancy Nguyen started the business from her home kitchen in Edmonds when she was home during the pandemic.
"I love cooking, and I love baking for people. So when I got my dog, of course, I was going to cook for him, too," Nguyen said.
Browsing the selection of dog treats at the store left Nguyen wondering if the ingredients were really things she wanted to be feeding Beau. This, combined with her love of baking, was the spark for Beau's Lil Barkery.
Using only ingredients us humans can eat, Nguyen bakes up irresistible dog goodies in dog biscuits, wrap treats, and celebratory pupcakes. The dog biscuits come in flavors like sweet potato, pumpkin molasses, and gluten-free peanut butter. Beau's favorite, however, are the gluten-free apple and cheddar biscuits. Another frontline taste tester agrees with Beau's number one choice: Nguyen's younger sister. Since the ingredients are things we'd eat ourselves, like oat flour, cheddar cheese, and apple puree, a human taste-tester is welcome.
"Part of the reason why I started baking at home for Beau was just because I could put what I wanted to in his treats and nothing extra," Nguyen said. "At the store, I would read the nutrition label on the back and some of the ingredients weren't things I'd necessarily want to give him."
While Beau and Nguyen's sister don't have gluten sensitivities, Beau's Lil Barkery features gluten-free treats so all dogs can enjoy some goodies.
"Some dogs are super sensitive, so the natural and gluten-free ingredients can make it easier for them to process, as well as older dogs," Nguyen said.
While the Lil Barkery biscuits and wrap treats are meant for everyday snacking, Nguyen brings something special to the market stalls: the pupcake. A celebratory cupcake made for good dogs, the pupcakes are an oat flour and applesauce cake with a peanut butter and cream cheese frosting.
With the exception of the pupcakes, all of Beau's Lil Barkey's treats are available on their website, including a soothing nose and paw balm. Since the pupcakes don't ship well, you'll have to visit Nguyen and Beau at the upcoming Georgetown Flea Market.
"We can't wait for the next market," Nguyen said. "It feels really great to connect with people and the community and I'm so thankful for everyone who has come by."
Lauren Allain is a freelance writer for Seattle Refined. See more of her work here.