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Baker's best friend

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Dog-friendly bakery spin off opens on Third

 The idea was always in the back of Chelsea Ryan’s mind. About a year after she opened Just Baked Bakery on Chambers Boulevard, she decided to add something extra to the counter as an option for patrons with canine companions.

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“We started making these dog treats and they were selling like crazy,” Ryan said. “Even then I had started thinking about it, and I wanted to do online sales.”

As the treats became more popular and as Ryan’s bakery business took off, she decided to take it one step further.

“About six months ago we started getting serious about it. We were waiting for the perfect spot downtown to open up,” she said.

On Friday, Ryan hosted the grand opening of Just Barked at 224 North Third Street, a spin off location selling homemade dog treats and doubling as a small dog boutique.

Diving in, Ryan said time management has been an adjustment, though she plans to have a full time manager for the Just Barked location. In addition to trying to manage not one shop, but two, the difference in recipes has also brought along a challenge for the young entrepreneur.

“I thought dog treats would be so easy, but it’s harder than you think to be all natural,” Ryan said, referencing the importance of using ingredients that are appropriate for a dog’s diet and what they will like.

“I have three dogs, so I’ve been testing the treats out on them,” she said.

The shop not only offers the classic biscuit bones Ryan started with, but several other festive treats as well. Little pepperoni pizzas, six-inch birthday cakes, pupcakes, bacon pretzels, twists, cannoli, glazed donut treats and ice cream cups are among the bakery selections.

The shop also includes a boutique, with colorful collars, leashes, clothing, knick-knacks, accessories and toys, which Ryan said they selected from a pet convention in Vegas.

Katie Byrd and Cynthia Brown stopped in on Friday during the grand opening, their dogs in tow.

Byrd was browsing the collars and selected a blue paisley design she thought “popped” for her dog Bella. Brown selected a stuffed squeaky toy for her small dog, Turbo. As they browsed the selection, several other customers stopped in as well to buy treats or look at toys.

Ryan said hours for Just Barked are still being discussed, but she currently plans for the location to be open Monday through Saturday. She also hopes to partner with area organizations, such as Barktown Rescue, in the future.