GIMLI – Something smells good.
Jordan Welch, a commercial fisherman from Gimli, recently returned home after a long day at work. As he walked through the house he shares with his girlfriend, Sierra Lathlin, he noticed the scent of cinnamon, which he eventually attributed to a plate of cookies chilling on a kitchen counter. No sooner had he taken a bite than Lathlin walked into the room shouting, “Hey, this is for dogs!”
“He looked at me, looked at the cookie and put the rest in his mouth, saying, ‘Whatever, it looks good on me,'” said Lathlin, founder of Barkery Dog Treats, an Interlake-based online store. which turns out all-natural, preservative-free treats for your four-legged friend, including cookies, dog donuts, even “puppy tarts,” the sugar-free version of Kellogg’s popular sugar-free pastry. ‘contractor.
“There’s nothing in my things that you or I can’t eat,” she continues, offering a free sample to a scribe (thanks, but we just had lunch). “The only difference roughly is that I dehydrate everything once it’s ready in order to extend the shelf life. It makes it a bit crispier, not that the dogs complaining.”
Lathlin, 24, was born and raised in the Cree Nation of Opaskwayak, near The Pas. A dog lover for as long as she can remember, she was 18 when she adopted Toby, a great Pyrenean. It was a rescue, he was only six weeks old when she brought him home. She didn’t know his breed beforehand, so she was more than a little surprised when he finally tipped the scales over 100 pounds.
“I mean, I weigh 100 soaked pounds, so who was walking who?” She laughed, adding that she had latched onto a second pet, Anna, a Shepherd-Lab mix, after a breakup. “Any boyfriend that I broke up with, I ended up with their dog somehow. My mom told me I better stop dating guys. dogs or I was going to have 10 before I knew it. ”
Accompanied by Toby and Anna, Lathlin moved from OCN to Winnipeg in 2015 to study computer science at the University of Winnipeg. She and Welch started dating two years later. She and her entourage moved in with him. and her dog Hilti after graduating in the spring of 2019. A few weeks later, she landed a position as Marketing Manager at Gimli Veterinary Services.
It was around the same time that she started making treats from scratch for Toby, Anna and Hilti, convinced that anything that came out of her oven would be healthier than what was available in the grocery store pet aisle. She probably would have been content to cook for their dogs on her own, except that a light bulb lit up in her head the second she spotted a poster advertising a craft sale at the Gimli Rec Center in September 2019. From Toby, Anna and Hilti were such huge fans of his cooking, maybe other dogs would be too.
“I showed up (for sale) with four different treats, including my peanut butter sneakers and fresh mint containing mint and parsley,” she says, adding that Barkery, the name she has chosen for his fledgling business, came to him one morning. blue. “I made $ 300 and I was like, woo-hoo, I’m rich.”
Lathlin spent the next 10 months dividing his time between his full-time job at the clinic and selling treats at any craft auction. It all came to a screeching halt in July 2020, when, while shopping in Winnipeg, a friend called to say that Toby had been in a hit-and-run accident and needed to be euthanized immediately.
Crushed, she gave her bosses two weeks’ notice, telling them she found it too difficult to be around other sick or dying animals. She spent the next few days locked in her room, mourning her loss. Finally, not wanting Toby’s death to be in vain, she pulled out a pen and paper and jotted down her favorite things to snack on – beef liver cookies, apple and cheese bites and banana cookies. and oats, to name a few. Now was the time to devote her full attention to Barkery dog treats, she had decided; she thought she had already lost Toby, so what else did she have to lose?