Some people go to the Regional Market on Saturdays for the fresh produce and locally made food products. Jill Ennis goes to the market for the all-natural, homemade pet treats she gets from the vendors at Hey Rose.
Ennis, a holistic dog behaviorist who volunteers for a service dog training organization, has a Cockapoo (a cocker spaniel poodle mix) and fosters two Rhodesian Ridgeback service dogs. All are fans of the “Yapps’’ — bar cookie-style dog treats made with carrots, apples, peanut butter and other ingredients that are a bestseller at the Hey Rose stand.
The treats are crumbly and contain no preservatives, so they have a short shelf life. Ennis almost always has some in her freezer. “We can’t open the freezer without all the dogs coming running,’’ she says.
Hey Rose, in Shed E, is a two-woman business with two distinct specialties. Barbara Janice, of Solvay, caters to dogs and cats and their “pet parents.’’ Maureen J. Doyle, of Jordan, caters to humans who like to cook and bake.
Each Saturday, the partners arrive at 3:30 a.m. to set up shop. The market opens at 7 a.m. Doyle organizes and manages the culinary side, which has a vast selection of herbs and spices, spice blends and rubs, dip mixes, extracts, loose teas and tea gear and more.
Janice, meanwhile, sets out about 20 varieties of soft and hard pet treats in several shapes, sizes and flavors. Her sense of humor is apparent in the names she gives them: Peanut Butter Bones, Cheddar Bones, Cinn-A-Bones, Vege-Terriers, Liver on Rye (chicken liver and rye flour), Bark-O-Loungers (whimsical seasonal cutouts), K-9 Olies (doggie cannolis) and others.
Crispy treats for dogs and cats are bagged and boxed, while most of the softer dog treats are sold individually. Some are embellished with unsweetened yogurt icing, giving them the look of homemade cookies for humans. “I can honestly say each one was handled by me,’’ Janice says.
For Janice, making homemade pet treats isn’t about trying to duplicate Milk-Bones, Beggin’ Strips and other mass-produced biscuits and snacks. It’s about researching ingredients that are healthy for dogs and cats and coming up with things by trial and error.
“I love to cook and bake and experiment and make up my own recipes,’’ she says.
Her all-natural treats are made without wheat, corn, preservatives and fillers. She uses rye flour and oat flour, which are good for the digestive and nervous systems, as well as good sources of vitamins and minerals.
For protein, she favors chicken liver, eggs, peanut butter, cheese, and tuna and salmon (favorites of the felines). Some of the treats contain fruits and vegetables. Apples and applesauce are a good source of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. Pumpkin is low in fat and calories and high in fiber, potassium and beta carotene. Carrots add color and texture, as well as fiber, potassium and vitamins A, C and K.
Coconut oil, the darling of the human health world, is a good fat that can improve a dog’s skin and coat, aid in digestion and reduce allergic reactions. Janice also uses honey from a fellow market vendor and some herbs and spices from “the spice side’’ of Hey Rose, including cinnamon, which has antifungal and antibacterial properties and is reputed to be an energizing spice.
Janice didn’t set out to be a baker catering to our four-legged friends. Complications from a neurological disorder sidelined her career as an office manager for a development company. While recuperating, she spent a lot of time at home with her West Highland terrier, Max, pondering her options. She started making treats for Max (now deceased) and he was the inspiration for Max’s Barkery, Janice’s specialty pet baking business.
Janice is now “Mom” to Lucy, a 2-year-old Westie. She and Doyle met when they were vendors at the former Paradise Market, an indoor flea market that had a short run on weekends at the Paradise Plaza in DeWitt. Janice was doing business as Max’s Barkery and Doyle was operating as Jordan Soap, Herbs and Spices. When Paradise Market closed in 2011, they teamed to create Hey Rose at the Regional Market.
It’s common for customers who stop by for something from “the human side” to leave with something from “the pet side,’’ or vice versa.
“Our customers pretty much go hand-in-hand,’’ Janice says. “Our customers have become our friends and family.’’
Hey Rose is in Shed E each Saturday at the Central New York Regional Market, 2100 Park St. Market hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information, visit facebook.com/HeyRoseNY.
Margaret McCormick is a freelance writer and editor in Syracuse. She blogs about food at eatfirst.typepad.com. Follow her on Twitter, connect on Facebook or email her at [email protected].[fbcomments url="" width="100%" count="on"]