Belfast Telegraph

Murphy's Barkery aims to collar niche market for doggy treats in Northern Ireland

By Claire Williamson

It's a bakery with a difference, as the treats on offer aren't for you - they are for your dog.

Is your pooch having a birthday soon?

Well, look no further for a 'barkery' creating healthy cakes and treats for dogs.

Murphy's Barkery in Newtownabbey is Northern Ireland's first cake shop for hounds.

The brainchild of Elaine McIvor and sister Gemma Ingram, it started out from the love they had for their own pets and a wish to provide treats for them free from harmful additives and preservatives.

They began creating their own, and once they got the sniff of approval from the animals, the duo decided to turn it into a business.

Elaine told the Belfast Telegraph: "My dog Murphy was my inspiration. I got him as a puppy three years ago and I was determined to give him all home-made food.

"But when it came to buying treats the only shop-bought treats were full of additives and preservatives.

"So I researched home-made dog treats, and we started making our own for Murphy and Gemma's two dogs, Buster and Teddy."

The sisters grow their own herbs and vegetables in a greenhouse to keep everything as natural and fresh as possible.

"We call Buster 'quality control' because he's the fussiest dog, and if he doesn't like it, it doesn't go any further," Elaine explained.

"Our slogan is 'Made with love and sealed with a sniff'."

They stock everything from birthday cakes to biscuit treats, and after officially launching in April, they have started supplying their goods to vets and pet shops in Northern Ireland.

Their most recent tail-wagging recipient was hero hound Hank, who was gifted a 'Welcome Home' cake to celebrate his release after being seized by Belfast City Council over a complaint that he was a banned breed.

Elaine said they wanted to surprise his owners, Leonard and Joanne.

"It was the most emotional cake we have made," she said. "We've been following his story and we thought we would do a cake.

"Gemma went over with it on Monday and they were absolutely delighted with it."

And now, after creating a cake for the world-famous dog, they have been inundated with requests.

Elaine added: "We love our dogs and this was born out of a passion and a hobby more than an intended business.

"It was only ever out of love for dogs that we did this. But we've grown to discover there is definitely a market for it.

"You see how people celebrate their dog's birthdays - I just love it, I think it's brilliant.

"More so that they are looking after their dog's health too, and aren't using additives and preservatives, and people are more aware of how to prolong their dog's lives.

"It's about educating people, really. So that's why it's great to get the seal of approval from vets, and that they are stocking our stuff. Our treats have all been lab-tested, which gives the customer added security."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph