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Dogs drool for Napa made cookies

Dogs drool for Napa made cookies

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The core belief driving “drool. dog cookies,” a Napa-based business specializing in healthy dog treats, is simple. Food is love.

Eight years ago, Shana Franklin and her husband relocated to Napa from Dallas where she had worked as a local TV news anchor. The move to Napa was an opportunity for Shana to re-evaluate her career and explore the possibilities of what might come next.

As a lifelong animal lover, Franklin remembers collecting stuffed animals rather than dolls as a young girl. As an adult, Franklin always had a dog in her home. Currently, she fosters a dog named Goose.

When she asked the question, “What is soulful work to me?” she looked back on this thread that was woven throughout her life.

She decided to make dog cookies that were healthy for dogs and fun for their owners too.

“I wanted to create something super healthy that pet owners can feel good about giving their dog,” said Franklin.

Jumping from a successful career in television news reporting to owning a small business and baking dog cookies was a more challenging transition than Franklin expected. She turned to dog moms, dog experts, and nutrition experts to learn more.

Franklin worked with pet nutritionist Dr. Susan Lauten Ph.D for a year. Together they perfected health-focused dog cookie recipes.

“Dogs are eating healthier these days, just as people are. It’s fun to be a dog owner that takes nutrition to heart,” Franklin said.

Franklin’s drool. dog cookies have no corn, grain, dairy, meat, soy and wheat.

The drool. dog cookies come in two flavors — peanut butter banana buckwheat and almond coconut quinoa. Franklin plans to unveil seasonal flavors like blueberry pumpkin during the holidays.

Franklin bakes with what she calls “human-grade” ingredients. This distinctive selling point led to an unusual discovery.

“You’d be surprised how many people admit to trying Milk Bones as a kid,” Franklin joked.

Both of Franklin’s recipes begin with a garbanzo bean base, an ingredient rich in protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins.

Each ingredient used in drool. dog cookies was chosen for the specific nutritional value it adds to the dog treat. Buckwheat adds vitamin B-6, banana adds potassium and nut butters add healthy fats and proteins.

How each treat tastes is also important to Franklin, though more difficult to judge. Fortunately, drool. dog cookies has a few human customers who attest to both the nutritional value and flavor of the treats.

Dog owners can purchase drool. dog cookies locally at Monday Bakery, Napa Farmers Market, Napa River Inn and Silverado Resort Market & Bakery. Each whimsical treat costs from $4 to $6.

In comparison, Milk-Bone Treats cost roughly $3 for a 24-ounce box.

“The price reflects the quality of the ingredients that are in the cookies. We bake with mostly organic products,” said Franklin.

Though the end customers for drool. dog cookies don’t care if a treat is shaped like a squirrel, bone, or a doggy report card, dog owners do.

Franklin decorates each treat by hand and chooses whichever design is most entertaining to her at the time she bakes a batch of cookies.

The shapes change seasonally. Pumpkin pies and turkeys were available for Thanksgiving. Snowflakes, reindeer, Christmas trees, woodland creatures and others are available in December.

Franklin also bakes custom requests to order. Many of her customers request specialized treats for birthdays. Franklin also customizes stocking-shaped cookies for Christmas.

Selling dog treats at the Napa Farmers Market has allowed Franklin to get to know the humans and dogs who adore her work.

“I love when people re-order cookies after telling me how picky their dog is” said Franklin.

Community involvement is another central component of drool. dog cookies.

The label on the package of each treat states, “partial proceeds benefit animals in need and their people.”

Supporting local nonprofit organizations, like Napa Humane, as well as individuals in need, is critical to Franklin.

“None of this makes sense to me without being part of the community and helping where I can, officially or unofficially. I want dogs to have better lives,” said Franklin.

“Being part of the community and helping others is significant to me. I’m always interested in learning who might need help.”

This month, Monday Bakery is helping to further drool. dog cookies’ community giving. Sally Latimer, owner of the local café and bakery, plans to donate a portion of their December proceeds from drool. dog cookies to local animal rescue organizations.

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You can reach Jennifer Huffman at 256-2218 or jhuffman@napanews.com

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