A recent Western New York festival featured an array of businesses vying for the favor of its attendees: Luscious cupcakes and cookies, organic fare, information on athletic facilities, private resorts and photography sessions, even special transportation services.
While the target clientele frequently expressed interest in the services (especially when there were free samples), they remained mostly silent while perusing the stands, relying on their companions to ask questions and speak with the proprietors.
Except, of course, for the occasional “Woof.”
At the Dog Days of Kenmore festival, dozens of pet-oriented businesses — many from throughout the Niagara Region — pitched their wares to Western New Yorkers and their four-legged friends. Jennifer Berryman, coordinator for the event, said she’s definitely seen an uptick in pet-related businesses, which has also resulted in the steady growth of Dog Days.
“Pet businesses have been growing and we have to go ahead and try to accommodate everybody,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be a fad. I don’t think so, I think the need is there. ... The more we learn about dogs and cats and what their needs are, there’s more and more out there for them. I think it’s great.”
Beyond dog biscuits
“These can’t be for dogs!”
“They sure are!” Canine Cupcakes co-founder Taina Kozell responded to a festival-goer who was peering into the cooler at the business’ Dog Days table. It’s a comment she deals with often.
The 8-month-old businesses features six flavors of frosting-swirled treats, including Apollo’s Amazing Apple Tart and Clifford’s Carrot Cake. It started after Kozell, who has two dogs of her own, left her job of 13 years and “just started baking.”
“We did one event to see how it was going to go. It just took off,” she said. “It’s amazing what people will do for their pets. And I thought I was the crazy dog lady!”