Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Aggie's Doggie Diner

The last month or so has been fairly hectic with end-of-summer yardwork, a new class I'm taking online from the University of Hawaii, and of course all of Gabe and Arch's regular activities. I also chose this time to launch Aggie's Doggie Diner.  I'm very excited about this, but probably could have chosen a better time to launch!

Aggie's is all about home cooked dog food.  Right now I have five different recipes/dishes that I cook in huge batches and then portion out into 500g or 1kg sizes, which I freeze into blocks and vacuum pack.  The plan is for people to purchase the food online at http://www.aggiesdoggiediner.com/, and then I deliver all orders once a week.  Given the logistics, it's very much a local business, with delivery to Saskatoon residents.

I got the idea for Aggie's last Christmas.  I always make dog cookies for Gabe and Arch, so I made a bunch for all the doggies in my life.  The guardian of one recipient suggested I open a dog bakery; the guardian of another suggested I open a coffee bar for dogs.  It was the coffee bar idea that really got the old gears spinning.  It seems like every week there are more and more options for allergen-free dog cookies, but it's still a hassle to find allergen-free food.  And so on those long 60- or 75-minute walks with my pups every evening I started thinking things through.  And, voila, Aggie's Doggie Diner was born.

The logo is by the incredibly talented Tina Kugler of Handmade Logo Design.  I told Tina I was looking for a Betty Rubble/Judy Jetson-type retro woman, but with a more substantial figure.  I envisioned "Aggie" holding up a platter (a la "here I come with a burger on a bun!") and two pups looking up at the platter.  Tina pretty much "got it" in one go (unlike a few other graphic artists I approached before her).  So, yes, the woman is essentially me, and the dogs are Gabe and Arch.  "Aggie's," by the way, came about by combining the "G" from "Gabe" and the "A" from Arch.

Thus far business has been a little slow, but I already have one regular customer on board.  I'm hoping more advertising will help a bit.  And, the wonderful vet who provided free accupuncture for Archie for one year has offered to refer suitable clients to Aggie's.  Realistically, 5-10 regular clients would be about my max, given my day job and other activities.  So, things are looking good.  Knock wood.