When I need some yummy incentives for my pup to learn a new trick, or it’s time to get him a cake for his birthday, or when I just simply want to spoil him, I head straight to The Barkery. This adorable little bakery, equipped with its very own commercial kitchen, is located in Joo Chiat and makes a wide range of healthy treats, birthday cakes, mini pies, and daily meals for dogs using all-natural ingredients.
Founded by three women, this family-run business is a labour of love for Margaret, Elizabeth (Margaret’s sister) and Ann Marie (Elizabeth’s daughter). All three women had grown up with dogs as pets and when attempting to treat various ailments (such as skin allergies or upset tummies) for their own pups, they discovered that a lot of it was due to the dogs’ diets. They started cooking for their own pets many years ago and then, in 2011, decided to share their passion and knowledge about canine nutrition with others by launching The Barkery.
When it comes to what goes into your dog’s belly, The Barkery takes it very seriously. Not only do they do extensive research and testing, they use only the freshest human-grade ingredients, some of which are often seasonal. Everything that passes through their kitchen is hand-made in small batches and made with the health and taste buds of your dog in mind.
At The Barkery, expect to find goodies like bark-kwa, mutt-loaf, pupcakes, turkey jerky, cheesy cookies, barkwursts, made-to-order cakes, and even special holiday delights, like mooncakes and Christmas log cakes.
Ordinary People popped into The Barkery recently to have a chat with the lovely ladies Elizabeth and Ann Marie (and to pick up some treats for our lucky pups).
How did The Barkery get started?
Ann Marie: When we first brought Toby home, he wasn’t a very healthy puppy (Toby is Ann Marie’s pet). He had a very sensitive tummy and wasn’t doing well with commercial food, even the top-grade brands. Then, my aunt Margaret, who had been cooking for her own dogs for many years, suggested we try giving him some of her home-cooked food. Margaret’s dogs previously had a range of health issues, which she successfully managed by coming up with her own recipes for meals and treats after working closely with her vets and doing a lot of research on pet nutrition.
Almost straight away, we saw improvements in Toby and realised that the change in diet helped alleviate his food sensitivities and that feeding him food made from natural, whole ingredients was the key to his continued well-being.
We started sharing this knowledge with friends who were also dog parents and, through their encouragement and support, The Barkery was born.
Tell us more about the ingredients you use (and don’t use)
Elizabeth: It’s important to us to know exactly what goes into the food we make so we only use premium, human-grade meat and vegetables that come from the same suppliers that restaurants buy from. We also ensure that the ingredients come from a trustworthy source, so sometimes we use imported ingredients from Australia or Brazil. One of our favourite ingredients to use is probiotic chicken, where the chickens are reared in a cage-free environment and are antibiotic- and hormone-free.
We don’t use use any artificial preservatives, additives, flavourings or colourings in any of our recipes. Even the decorations on our cakes are made from scratch and the colourings are naturally derived from fruit and vegetables.
How do you come up with new products for The Barkery?
Elizabeth: A lot of our inspiration comes from our customers. For example, we received many requests for a healthy chew that would keep dogs occupied and help clean their teeth so we came up with our Pigs Ears and Beef Hock Tendons.
Ann Marie: We also try our best to come up with fresh and novel ideas, like mooncakes. We had to do a lot of testing and experimentation to come up with the right mix of healthy, dog-friendly ingredients to make these.
The Barkery is also a strong supporter of Singapore’s animal shelters. Tell us more about that.
Ann Marie: When we started The Barkery, we didn’t know much about animal welfare in Singapore but we knew that we wanted to give back to the community. We began participating in adoption events organised by the animal welfare groups and through these events, became friends with people in the rescue community.
Then, in our first year of business, someone suggested that we do something special for the shelter dogs for Christmas. So we came up with the idea that people could spread some Christmas cheer to these less fortunate dogs by buying cakes and cookies and we’d deliver them directly to the shelters. The response from the public in the first year was overwhelming and we’ve continued this program every Christmas ever since.
What do you love most about what you do?
Elizabeth: We love making dogs happy and knowing that we’ve helped a dog in some way through sharing information or sharing our own experiences.
Ann Marie: And it absolutely makes our day to hear that a customer’s dog loved our treats or cakes!
For more information on The Barkery or to order online:
Address: 326 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427583
Tel: +65 6247 7321
If you’re looking for a dog to love, please consider adoption. Our comprehensive list of dog adoption places can be found here.