Love For Animals Inspired Akanksha Arora To Start ‘Barker’s Dozen’, A Bakery For Dogs
9 June 2017
Humans are self-involved! Let’s face it; we have lost touch with the other inhabitants of this earth. Fortunately, there are some of us who still share a special bond with animals.
Today, our Woman of Courage is Akanksha Arora, the founder of Barker’s Dozen. When you meet her, you would not be wrong to think that Akanksha loves animals more than people; and we feel it’s this love made her start something for our animal friends.
Akanksha’s family has always had pets at home. It is her family which has constantly encouraged her to be loving, kind and gentle towards animals. According to Akanksha, her first fur brother ‘Panther’ was extremely protective of her- no one unknown could enter the house when she was alone.
Born and brought up in Chembur, Mumbai, in a middle-class family, Akanksha did her graduation from Mithibai College, Mumbai. Since she had an interest in Baking, she went to ITM for a diploma in baking and pastry arts.
When Akanksha was sure that she wanted to turn her passion for baking into a profession, she went to the USA for an Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts at the Culinary Institute of America.
It was Panther’s untimely death that pushed Akanksha towards reading up on pet nutrition. Most of the off-the-shelf options for pets, available in India, aren’t really what you would call ‘healthy’. This is what inspired Akanksha to start baking something healthy and nutritious, along with yummy for all pets.
After coming back from the USA, Akanksha started making treats for the pets in the family. Her sister shared these treats with her friends who had pets too. When they saw their pooches enjoying the treats and found these were preservative-free and healthy, Akanksha started getting enquiries on if she takes orders and what else is offered on her menu.
Most pet parents are feeding human products to their pets which can be dangerous for their delicate tummies (Like chocolate or Maida biscuits). Before she could start selling the treats, she thought to develop her menu further (treats, goodies and cakes).
“I got them tested and approved by vets before putting them on the menu. Through word of mouth, enquiries increased and that was the start for Barker’s Dozen.” Says Akanksha
Barker’s Dozen is dedicated to making all natural, healthy and preservative-free treats. It is made with human grade ingredients specific to your pet’s dietary needs. They are not just another pet store. They are a Gourmet Barkery for Pets.
They accommodate any dietary limitation that a pet may have. They have a wide variety of products from treats to evening snacks and even Cakes for occasions you want your pet child to celebrate. Barker’s Dozen caters to vegetarian and non-vegetarian preferences.
Thanks to Akanksha, we don’t need to give unhealthy products to our pets anymore! We can treat our pet children to healthy and yummy goodies which are fresh out of the oven and baked especially to our pet’s dietary needs.
In the initial days, people did not believe in the concept of a pet bakery. She was criticised by so many saying that after studying in a prestigious school like Culinary Institute of America she is making dog biscuits “itna padh ke aayi aur kutte ka biscuit bana rahi hai.”
“Since I was just starting out it was not possible to have my treats in the big pet stores in my city. Therefore I had to work on delivery which was difficult. I went myself to deliver each and every order but, it helped in the long run as I was able to establish a bond with the pet parents and pets.” She further adds.
Akanksha feels that she is blessed to have an amazing family and friends who help her overcome difficult times. Also, her pets are her biggest stress busters. Nothing can calm her down as well as time spent with animals.
For now, Akanksha is taking baby steps. She has recently up-scaled her kitchen to cater to increased demand. At some point, she would like to have her own retail outlets with a wider selection for their furry friends to choose from. She says she is a regular working woman; the only difference is she works seven days a week.
On asking her about the life mantra she follows, Akanksha said, “You don’t need a 100 people to believe in you, all you need is for you to believe in yourself.”
She wishes to convey a message to the people out there, “Anything you, do you have to really work for it; there may be failures along the way but that doesn’t mean we give up; it only means we need to try harder. Things don’t just fall in place; you have to make the effort to get them there.”
Akanksha is a Woman of Courage because she doesn’t know how to be anything else than to be courageous. Her love for animals and treating them with such affection is simply adorable.
Women Of Courage wishes Akanksha all the luck for her future endeavours!
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