All In Good Taste

2016 January/February

Connie Overstreet wants only the best for her "boys."

 

After a day job she loves as Director of Physician Recruitment at Lourdes Hospital, she spends her evenings lovingly baking treats made of the freshest, healthiest ingredients for her little guys.

 

Donning her hairnet and rubber gloves, she mixes away in contaminate free glass bowls whipping up mixtures of kale, green beans, sweet potatoes, spinach, pumpkin, broccoli, and carrots throwing in a compliment of fruits for good measure. When it comes to servings of protein, Connie doesn’t skimp. She incorporates choices including venison, chicken breast, turkey, and hamburger. This lady knows her way from top to bottom of the food pyramid and can navigate the sphere of the government’s nutritional building block diagram, MYPlate, like a seasoned nutritionist.

 

Maximus, Max for short, and Boo are Connie’s boys and they just happen to be friendly, furry, canine kids. The boys are Saint Berdoodles, a Saint Bernard and Poodle cross with the suffix "doodle" being code in canine aficionado-speak for a hybrid desired for inheriting the poodle’s shed-free trait.

 

"I lost my golden doodle 'Bear' to cancer at three years of age. When I decided to get two new fur-kids, I wanted to give them the healthiest treats and food I could. With so many recalls recently, not to mention the cost of these items, I decided to make my own," says Connie.

 

In June, 2015, Connie’s baking officially went to the dogs when she decided to turn her passion for making tasty additive-free treats into a business and put some bite into her hobby when she officially launched Healthy Dog "Bark"ery, LLC.

 

"Making healthy treats for Max and Boo has grown to be a passion of mine," says Connie of her motivation. "I think every fur-kid deserves the best treats possible and I wanted to make them available."

 

For love of all dogs, Connie has poured hours into researching the best and most wholesome ingredients and has sought advice from experts including veterinarians and other bakers catering to dogs.

 

Looking for diabetic dog treats? How about vegan treats? Look no further. Connie can provide them all. Does your doggie have dry skin? The barkery chef will happily whip up a coconut oil concoction to soothe the discomfort. She buys oat flour in bulk because it is the least allergenic flour. Tapioca flour is an option but never wheat, soy, or corn. While she has a number of house specialties, she is happy to customize treats to fit dietary needs and tastes and offers consultations with customers to review their canine kid’s weight along with likes and dislikes and any allergies or other potential dietary challenges.

 

Connie is quick to point out, "I make treats not real food. I personalize every dog’s treat with initials."

 

Her husband, Greg, questioned why Connie made such a fuss over choosing packaging. Not skimping on functionality or aesthetics, Connie packages her goods in airtight packaging to help prevent excessive moisture from turning tasty treats into a moldy mess.

 

What’s a celebration without cake? Connie happily makes birthday cakes because all creatures deserve a treat on their special day. If you prefer to keep with the current culinary cupcake craze, the canine cake boss can bake a batch of "pupcakes."

 

"Max and Boo just celebrated their birthday and they enjoyed a birthday cake made of flour, eggs, carrots ,and peanut butter. Some people order "meat cakes" for their fur kids. "I sweeten the treats with honey and molasses but never refined sugar and I frost the cakes with yogurt."

 

Connie’s mission is simple yet sincere. "I want my product to be the healthiest and the best for my doggie customers and their people."

 

Connie Overstreet can be reached at healthydogbarkery@yahoo.com. Her website is www.healthydogbarkery.com.

 

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