Tucked away in Cos Cob is a new cottage kitchen where busy baker Cheryl Farley creates gourmet pet treats. Farley explained that she is licensed as a Cottage Food operator, which means she can cook at home and do direct selling rather than retail. Customers order online or place custom orders to pick up at Cos Cob or have it delivered locally.
In fact, she says, the treats are also user-friendly. Farley’s recipes, including pupcakes, bark bites, dog donuts, bacon and cheddar bites, woofles and bundt cakes, are all organic and include ingredients such as honey, flour , carob, applesauce and coconut oil.
“Everything is organic, including the whole wheat flour,” she explained. “We use honey as a sweetener, and to make the cake batter moist, we use unsweetened applesauce.”
Rather than cooking with corn or vegetable oil, she uses coconut oil.
Frostings are usually yogurt-based, but sour cream can be used. Even the food coloring and sprinkles are plant-based.
A popular treat is “pupcorn”, which comes in small and large sizes.
“White kernels tend to be smaller and easier to eat,” Farley said. “I vape on different flavors that include electrolytes and vitamins. Flavors include steak, bacon, and chicken.
Farley said that as her dogs got older, she became more and more concerned about what they ate.
“I became interested in making my own dog treats when I looked at the contents of the treats you buy from the store,” she said. “There’s a lot of filler and waste.”
As she developed her recipes, she consulted Dr. Philip Putter of Spot On Veterinary Hospital in Stamford, who reviewed and approved all recipes.
Farley, a licensed estate agent who did marketing and lettings for Harbor Point in Stamford, said she put her business skills to work when she set up House of Maxx, named after her beloved Min Pine.
Although Maxx is gone, his memory lives on thanks to Farley’s pet treat efforts. She also has Maxx’s brother, Skyy, and a second Min Pin, a rescue named Storm.
“These are my taste testers,” she said.
For House of Maxx, Farley designed a dog-themed logo and created a black and white checkerboard pattern for its marketing materials. The packaging is as you would expect from a pastry shop, with white boxes tied with string.
She said customers like to celebrate their dog’s “bark day” or rescue dog “gotcha day” with a party, complete with cake, piñata and pet-friendly party favors.
Pinatas are filled with small pairs of individually wrapped crunchy bones.
Farley said that for Min Pin Skyy’s 16th birthday, in addition to cake and candy, there were little party hats and a banner that read, “Happy bark day.”
Farley said she welcomes custom orders.
“Because I bake and decorate them myself, I’m very flexible,” she said, adding that she can even make a ball-shaped cake.
Call or email to customize an order:
Contact Farley by email at: [email protected]
Phone. (203) 539-6447