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Creature Comforts

Pamper pets for profit

This story appears in the July 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

When Jodi Jaunich's dog, Kasey, got sick from a food allergy, the 29-year-old Chicago pet owner spent months researching nutrition and holistic treatments for animals. Convinced health foods and alternative treatments could benefit four-legged creatures as much as the two-legged variety, she quit her job as a business consultant, took $50,000 of her own money and opened Galloping Gourmutts, a combination bakery and health-food store for animals and their health-conscious owners.

In addition to offering a variety of all-natural supplements and remedies for common ailments like kennel cough and ringworm, Galloping Gourmutts sells bakery treats Jaunich makes (and taste-tests) herself--goodies like canine cannolis, drumsticks, pretzels and bagels loaded with ingredients like cheese, peanut butter, veggies and apples. Opened in late 1997, the store rang up close to $150,000 in sales its first year, and Jaunich projects sales of $200,000 by the end of 1999.

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