It was actually almost two years ago that Casey and I were sitting at a friend's beach house in Cayucos, CA, enjoying the lovely May weather and relaxing when an idea hit us. We had just finished a stroll on the boardwalk where this small dog-friendly town had people with their pets going from store to store, a bowl of water set out by the doors so the dogs could get a drink whenever they needed one. Cayucos is also home to the Brown Butter Cookie Company, an amazing little shop that was started by a couple of sisters and on just about any given day you can find a line out the door of people buying these amazing, fresh cookies. What we noticed though that was that even though the town was extremely dog friendly, there was no dog store. Sitting back at the beach house we were talking about it a bit and threw around the idea of how fun it would be to open a store across the street for dogs with a sign that said "Well YOU got one!" We laughed and didn't think much more about it as we went about our day. My brain however, unbeknownst to me, put it on a back burner and let it stew. It seems that I get my best ideas, (including some of our most popular recipes) in my sleep. I woke up the next morning, looked at Casey and said, "We could call it Mooch's Munchies!" after our adorable black and tan doxie mix Mooch. The tagline "They're TOTALLY PAWSOME" followed a few moments later, stated in my best surfer accent.
It was still just a fun idea as we drove back home to Las Vegas. After all, neither of us had ever run our own brick and mortar business, had no idea how to start one and no idea on how to fund it. Even though we liked the idea, the beach was at this point in time out of the question financially for us. But the seed had been planted and was trying desperately to take root.
Our Boston Terrier Abby, who just turned 11, has had stomach issues for as long as we have had her, and I have cooked for her most of her life. Mooch, who is 7, has never eaten anything but home-cooking until recently (more on that later). I had also started making treats for them as well. I tried different recipes to see how they would do but they either had too much fat or oil or spoiled too quickly or got crumbly and didn't hold up well. Store treats were loaded with chemicals and preservatives and were out of the question since they exacerbated her stomach issues. After our idea I threw myself even harder into creating recipes that would work for our dogs. I also farmed out the results to family, friends and neighbors with dogs and asked them for feedback on the cookies and the dogs reactions. I spent hours doing research on the different ingredients that go into dog food and treats and was appalled by what I found. The more we learned and talked, the more we realized that Mooch's Munchies needed to exist for the health and well being of the dogs.
In September of 2016, Casey's job circumstances got rearranged and he needed to make some decisions regarding his retirement funds. We discovered that you can roll them over into a ROBS (Roll Over for Business Startup) retirement account. It is complicated, but it did make it possible for us to be able to bring the dream to life! So, in October of 2016 Mooch's Munchies Inc was founded. As the next several months flew by we quickly got educated on licensing, permitting, equipment, marketing, research, DEMOLITION and lots of other things too numerous to mention. We set up our online store with pictures that we took on our cell phones and of our friends and families dogs eating our treats. We learned to use Facebook to reach potential customers and Instagram to find even more people who wanted to feed their dogs the best cookies they could find.
And so it came to be that on April 15th, 2017 (I know.....tax day) Mooch's Munchies website officially opened for business and the front doors of our shop were opened. It only took eleven months from concept to open and we started out with 10 flavors of our gluten-free, real food dog cookies. Each one is cut and baked by hand by a crazy couple that just wanted to see the dogs be happy, healthy and thrive.
We have continued to grow and change and evolve, and I have had to scramble to make sure that I document the path that we are taking because I know that there will come a day when no one will believe how this amazing little dog cookie company got started. One thing that will never change is our vision. WE will always make sure that your dog is getting the best product that we can bake. Real food, gluten-free and chemical free, a treat that you can have confidence in when you give it to your pet. We also want to make sure that it is an affordably priced treat. It shouldn't break the bank to feed them well.
If you live in the Las Vegas area, please come join us and help us celebrate this amazing milestone on Sunday, April 15th from 12 noon to 6 pm. We will be making pupcakes for the dogs, refreshments for the humans, raffles, discounts and more. Paws On My Way Home Rescue (Mooch's Alma Mater) will be there too with lots of their adorable dogs waiting for their forever homes. The store is located at 101 S. Rainbow Blvd. Suite 16 and we would love to meet you and your fur babies. If you don't live in the area we haven't forgotten you! Just shop online here at the webstore moochsmunchies.com and use code BIRTHDAY at checkout to get 25% off of your order.
We know there are a lot of choices out there for your pets. If you don't choose ours, please make sure what you do choose is a good healthy one for them.
Love and cookies.
Kellie the Cookie Lady