By Angela Cutrer
When Main Street Elizabethton conducted a ribbon cutting Friday to celebrate the opening of Auntie A’s Barkery, Amy Birchfield surely sighed in relief. The entrepreneur finally has her own storefront to welcome in the owners of her customers, who happen to be dogs.
That’s right — Auntie A’s Barkery makes its treats for them — not us.
“They are homemade, all natural with no sugar,” Birchfield said of her treats that come in all sizes. “Humans could eat these, but I think they’d find them a bit bland.”
Auntie A’s Barkery offers homemade, all-natural dog treats for your favorite four-legged friends, as well as cat and dog accessories, pet toys and gifts for the whole family.
“I started baking dog treats as a hobby to ensure my own dogs were consuming safe and natural products,” Birchfield said. “When I realized the need for more natural, pet-friendly products in our community, [I thought] downtown [would be] the perfect place to open my barkery and offer a place for pets to enjoy their own special treats when the family comes downtown. It brings me joy getting to see other dogs enjoy my treats just as much as my puppies at home.”
Birchfield’s barkery offers several flavors for dogs of disccriminating tastes, including peanut butter or pumpkin and peanut butter “bones” and pumpkin or ‘smores “donuts.” However, Birchfield said she’s had “picky” dogs send their owners to her store without little confidence in the outcome. “But then the owners call me back and say, she loved it! And I get a good laugh and say, I’m glad! I loved making ‘pupcakes’ and pumpkin ‘donuts’ specifically for my dogs, because why shouldn’t our four-legged friends get to enjoy the same delicious treats we get to enjoy?”
Birchfield and her husband, Richard, currently have four dogs: Cody (“he loves to eat”), Izzy (“she’s loveable and always ready to try a new treat”), Roman (“he’s shy and uncertain about anything unless the rest” try it first”) and Sadie (“who would eat it all, but is being introduced slowly to the treats”).
Birchfield’s cooking experience included working in a bakery and learning from her mother and grandmother. She used to bake cookies and cakes for friends and relatives, but then she developed an interest in dog treats. Her hobby quickly grew into something more after she visited other stands and businesses offering “homemade” treats for pets.
“What people don’t realize is that I have to send my product to the state agricultural department to ensure it contains the right moisture, fat, protein and fiber for dogs,” she explained. “I have to send it to be licensed before I can label it.”
Birchfield, who is from Stoney Creek, first made treats from her home, then moved to a store that is no longer available. “I thought, what am I going to do?” Birchfield said. That’s when she eyed downtown and she opened in May.
“Auntie A’s Barkery is such a great addition to our downtown,” said Main Street’s director, Courtney Bean. “It is wonderful to see them grow from a vendor to their own brick-and-mortar location. We love their passion for downtown and cannot wait for everyone to see the great products they offer for both pets and humans.”
Auntie A’s Barkery is located at 520 E. Elk Avenue in Downtown Elizabethton. Current hours of operation are 4:30 to 7 pm Wednesday through Friday, and 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday.
Learn more about new products, shop or get more information by visiting Facebook at @Auntie-As-Barkery-102808332024624 or Instagram at @AuntieAsBarkery.