Rochester Post Bulletin
• What does the name mean?
The BACB stands for Bone Appetit Canine Bakery. But since we are now a mobile business, we are Unleashed.
• Describe your business?
We are a mobile pet store specializing in our signature dog treats that are freshly baked, Department of Agriculture approved, here in Rochester. We also carry unique dog toys and accessories, and gift items for their humans including T-shirts, home decor and jewelry. Our inventory is always changing.
• What’s your title?
I am the owner, the baker, the event planner, but I am not the boss. Jackson, my 3-year-old rescue pup, is the CEO, canine executive officer, so he is really the one in charge.
• What drove you to launch your own business?
My love for dogs. I actually started my business in the fall of 1998 when I lost a special companion, Boo, a border collie, to a leptospirosis infection. After doing everything I could to save her, Boo died wagging her tail gently while looking into my eyes. In the days following, my grief grew to a level that drove me to start baking healthy dog treats and giving them to friends and family who loved their dogs as I had loved Boo. Before I knew it, people were asking for more and commenting they liked the fact that these were freshly baked in small batches and with the love I have for all dogs. Eventually, the baggies containing the treats changed to real packaging and became the basis of starting a business.
• How many hours do you typically work in a week?
Too numerous to even count. But when you are living your dream, you really don’t count the hours.
• How many employees?
Paid employees … zero, unless you count the grocery bills, medical bills and toy bill for Jackson. Actually, I don’t have any paid employees, but I have a couple of key people in my life and business who give guidance and assistance. To me, they deserve the salary of a professional ball player and are priceless.
• When did you start your business?
The business was started in 1999.
• If you left another job to start this business, what was it?
I did leave another job to pursue my dream. I was a director of activities for a longterm-care facility. My degree is in therapeutic recreation. So instead of program planning for seniors, I am now doing some program planning (event planning) for dogs and their humans.
• What sacrifices did you make to launch this business and to keep it running?
Wow, where do you begin with sacrifices. But when you love something and believe in something so strongly, the sacrifices are all worth it. Spoiling dogs and seeing their owners happy as well, is my reward for things that I opted to give up.
• What is the best thing about owning a business?
That my dog is a big part of what I do and that I get to enjoy this with him. A close second is being able to have a business that gives back to the community. We have had successful annual community campaigns (Fresh Air for Fido, Operation Vest Defense), we donate a percentage of our receipts to various Southeast Minnesota rescue groups and we have offered area rescue groups booth space at our events free of charge.
• What is the hardest thing about owning a business?
Always having to think about the financial aspect. I would love to just do this without the worry of the bills that need to be paid, but that is life and the challenge.
• What’s your hope for your business in the next year?
We hope to have a greater presence in Rochester. We hope that people will see the fun, dog-inspired van and stop by and pick up a bag of treats or a fun new toy or even a cool T-shirt for themselves.
• What inspires you to keep doing it?
It always comes back to the fact that I am a crazy dog lover. I want all dogs to know love, to know joy and to know what it is like to be spoiled.
• Knowing what you know now, would you still take on your business?
Hmm, that is a good question, maybe to be answered when I retire.