Columbus-based, pet-centric businesses where you can spend your bark bucks
Cats and dogs are magical, wonderful creatures. They’re weird, sometimes gross and sometimes frustrating. But most importantly, they love us (though, cats can make us question that on occasion). They give us so much, and with this recognition, a handful of organizations around Columbus are working to repay pets for their good deeds. Here are a couple places that can give you and your furry friend some love.
Eat Purr Love Cat Cafe • 3041 Indianola Ave.
The Eat Purr Love Cafe is the first cat cafe in Ohio. Located in Clintonville, Eat Purr Love strives to connect homeless cats with people in Columbus. They’ve lived up to that goal; since it first opened in September 2016, 300 cats have been adopted out through the Cat Cafe, said Columbus Humane CEO Rachel Finney. And although the cafe has been great for cat adoptions, it’s really focused on bringing cats and people together.
“The primary function for the Cat Cafe is really giving people the opportunity to interact and spend quality time with cats,” Finney said.
Columbus Humane has been involved with Eat Purr Love since its early stages, helping set up policies and practices to make sure the cats, which come exclusively from Columbus Humane, are happy and healthy. Now, they’re taking on an even bigger role. With the cafe’s original and current owner Chrissy Kuras moving out-of-state, Columbus Humane takes possession of the cafe in July.
Not much will change in this next phase of Eat Purr Love. Finney says they could explore hosting more events, like more frequent cat yoga classes and an expansion of community outreach. But she says she’s primarily focused on deepening the customer experience.
“That’s our bliss, right?” Finney said, “When animals and people are happy together.”
Growlers Dog Bones • growlersdogbones.org
Growlers Dog Bones doesn’t just make delicious dog treats. Yes, they use grain from local microbreweries, and yes, they use top-of-the-line peanut butter from Krema on Goodale. But what really makes Growlers Dog Bones stand out is who is making those dog treats and what the organization stands for.
Growlers started as a workforce development program to provide a low-skill opportunity for people with disabilities who need a place to start. Their slogan, says Amy Noltemeyer, CEO of Growlers Dog Bones, is “serving man and man’s best friend.”
Created about three years ago, Noltemeyer says the organization has helped around 60 people with disabilities get on their feet. Even folks who have a limited capacity for cooking are welcomed into Growlers, which serves as a regular place to build a social life.
“We’re a niche item and our margins are really really small, so the people that sell us, they believe in us, and some of them take no profit at all,” Noltemeyer said. “I think it represents a lot of good. People try us out because they want to help us out with our mission. People come back because we make a good product.”
Growlers Dog Bones are $8 a bag, and they’re sold at a variety of farmers markets around Columbus, and at participating breweries and animal shelters.
Bark • bark.co
BarkBoxes, created by the company Bark, are a monthly adventure for dogs and their owners. Designed around a different theme each month, every delivery contains treats and toys for pups to enjoy. They’ve had a Knights of the Round Table box that featured a stuffed dragon and Friar Dogg’s Hearty Stew. Another time they had a Sniffin’ Safari them with a plush hippo and tiny vest. And don’t forget about Chewrassic Bark, which was 455 million dog years in the making.
Bark is headquartered in Columbus and New York City, and since it started with BarkBoxes in 2012, it’s expanded to e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores. The company wants to create world’s best stuff for dogs to satisfy each pup’s distinct personality, and they do that with new and creative toys, all-natural treats and next-generation accessories.
BarkBoxes, customized based on the doggo’s size, are ordered through a monthly subscription service with prices ranging from a $29 one-month option to a $21 a month, year-long option.