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Telling Alaska’s Story: Drool Central offers homemade dog treats and business keeps growing

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:26 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Many businesses have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Daisy Nicolas said if anything, hers has continued to grow. It might be because the treats she makes from scratch aren’t for people, they’re for pets.

Nicolas owns Drool Central, a home-based “barkery”, where she makes all-natural dog treats and dog food using locally-sourced Alaska ingredients. She opened the business in late 2013 and said it’s continued to grow every year, including during the pandemic.

“People have adopted dogs, and they’ve cared more for dogs. They have more time to focus on their dog’s food,” she said. “So mine just picked up.”

Nicolas is a culinary school graduate who worked for years in lodges and restaurants across the state. After she got her first dog, a lab named Dallas, she realized there was a market for healthier dog food.

“I want to be able to come up with good food for them, because there’s a lot of really bad food around,” she said.

Drool Central treats feature Alaska salmon, halibut and cod. She said salmon is a natural fit for dogs.

“It has a lot of Omega 3 fatty acid, which is great for their skin, their fur, overall health,” she said.

When Nicolas first started selling her products at the South Anchorage Farmer’s Market in 2014, she had just a dozen. Now she has nearly 50, many with unusual names like Cohitos, Dem Bones and Salmon Pawnanza.

“I like to toy with the names of my products … People just love it,” she said.

She also features pictures of long-time customers’ dogs on her packaging.

Nicolas enjoys what she does and would love to expand her business. She is looking for a commercial kitchen that might also include some retail space. Her products are available online for order or home delivery as well as in local shops like Alaska Mill and Feed.

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