SPRING LAKE, Mich. — “I love to spoil my dogs,” says Chelly Brown, “but other people love to spoil their dogs, too.”
You could say that thought is the guiding principle of Ebby’s Pet Bakery and Boutique, which Brown owns.
“Dogs are like kids to a lot of people,” Brown notes. “And a lot of people aren't having kids these days. So they have dogs, so therefore they spoil them. It's amazing how much they spoil their dogs.”
At Ebby’s, customers spoil their dogs with fresh-baked treats and hand-sewn costumes.
Brown goes down the list: “We bake cake pops, doggy donuts, dog cookies. We do birthday cake, doggy birthday cake. And ice cream. Occasionally, we'll do pretzels. We have a lot of different things that we make.”
And that’s just the dog treats, all with ingredients that are better for dogs than people food. “We use organic ingredients, and they're local here We use rye flour barley flaxseed honey coconut oil and farm-fresh eggs.”
For people who like to dress up their dogs, Ebby’s features “Lily Couture,” which includes formal dress, casual polo shirts, sweaters, jackets, even vests, bow ties, and long ties. For special occasions, there are collars and cuffs for weddings and whole outfits like wedding dresses and tuxedos.
How does somebody get into this kind of business? Brown says she just kind of discovered it when a friend invited her to work at the shop a couple of hours a day. “I thought, What a great opportunity to use the talents that I have and do something that I love.”
Brown used the pandemic as an opportunity to branch out with her talents. It wasn’t much of a stretch to go from sewing doggie costumes to making masks. “It was slow at first, when we first shut down. I started making masks for people and have carried that on. And that really sustained me quite well.”
Want to get started spoiling your dog? Try a special event. “We always have a birthday photo booth set up so they can come in and get their birthday picture taken and be on our Facebook page. We do birthday hats, and our cake and our ice cream."
You can start early spoiling your dog, too: “We can do puppy parties if you would request that.”