If you need a specialty treat for your favorite fur baby, The Doggy Bag in Crystal Beach Plaza in Destin is the place to find it. The pet bakery has everything from custom birthday cakes to primo pet food and everything in between for your canine or feline family members. Destin City Lifestyle sat down to talk to the Carol Genteman, owner of The Doggy Bag to see just what goes in to making those irresistible pet treats.
DCL: What do you offer that is unique to the area?
Carol: We are a bakery for dogs and cats, so we make a lot of birthday cakes, freshly baked cookies, and treats. We have premium dog and cat food that you are not going to find at the big box stores. And we sell toys, clothes, and treats; anything you could need for your animal!
DCL: What gave you the idea to open a dog bakery?
Carol: In 2006, I had just moved back to Destin from Japan, and I needed something to do. The bakery was for sale at that time, so it just kind-of fell in my lap. I had never done retail before and had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew I loved animals so now, 17 years later, here we are! I grew up with dogs, horses, cats, we even had a monkey at one time. I just thought, if I am dealing with dogs, I can do this.
DCL: What is your most popular item?
Carol: The most popular item is our top-of-the-line pet food, Carna4 brand, that I have gotten a lot of people into. But our most popular bakery item is our peanut butter squirrels, which are peanut butter and carob cookies that are decorated like squirrels. Everybody’s dog loves squirrels!
DCL: Tell us about your doggie birthday cakes, what is the process with those?
Carol: The birthday or celebration cakes are all custom order and I ask at least three days lead time for those. They are bone-shaped cakes made with carob chips and peanut butter, then I ice them with either peanut butter or yogurt icing. I also try to incorporate any theme a client might have into the cake, such as a beach theme, and I always put the dog’s name on it.
DCL: Let's meet your pets, I’m sure they have become the mascot's of your store.
Carol: I have a pit bull boxer mix, Aubie, named for the Auburn University mascot. I rescued Aubie when she was a tiny puppy and now, she is six. Then I have my grand dog, a Schnauzer named Charlie who is 11 years old. They are here all the time; I’m not allowed out of the house without them – their rules! They taste everything I bake, and everybody loves to give them treats when they come in and of course, both dogs love getting them.
DCL: Are pets allowed to come into the store?
Carol: Yes, pets are allowed to come in. I have had a wild array of pets come in. I had a parrot come in and sit up at the front with me while her owner shopped. Cats and lots of dogs come in. We are just a fun, happy place and people and their fur-babies love coming in.
"I had never done retail before and had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew I loved animals so now, 17 years later, here we are!" said Carol Genteman.