DANVILLE — The Old Farm Village shopping center is the now the home of The Bone Appétit Bakery, owned and operated by animal lover Suzanne Kudlaty.
Kudlaty comes to the area with a love of animals and a wealth of small business ownership experience.
“I recently sold a business in Bloomington that I had for six years — The Joyful Hound,” she said.
That business was a mobile dog grooming service that offered her clients a convenient way to have their pets taken care of. She also offered Reiki services for dogs. Reiki is an ancient Japanese technique of healing that uses the healer’s palms to manipulate the animal’s energy.
With her children now away at college, Kudlaty had an opportunity to make a change and decided that Danville was the place to set up shop.
“I live in Avon,” she said. “I grew up in Crawfordsville, so this area really feels like home.”
She completely renovated her space in the Old Farm Village.
“This space had been a salon and was really in bad shape,” she said. “There were layers of wallpaper to remove and sinks all over. It took a good amount of effort, but we did it and opened in December.”
Kudlaty said getting the word out that she is open has been her main challenge, since several of the Old Farm Village units have closed and many people have not really been keeping an eye on the area.
“But this is a very dog-friendly area,” she said. “Everyone here has a dog.”
She believes that once people come in for a visit and realize how good her treats are for their animals, they will visit often.
All treats made for The Bone Appétit Bakery are from all natural ingredients.
“They’re made with human food in a human bakery from my recipes,” Kudlaty said. “And they’re all fresh, with no preservatives or dyes. And, yes, I’ve tasted them all myself. They are a little dry, but good.”
Most of the products are grain free and all are produced in the U.S.
“It’s all produced from American livestock,” she said.
She also carries a line of chews, including antlers.
“Antlers are full of calcium,” Kudlaty said. “They’re a great substitute for rawhide, which is so bad for dogs.”
The gourmet treats come is some very attractive varieties. They look as if they were dipped in chocolate and icing.
“We also have a lot of iced treats, made with yogurt and carob,” Kudlaty said. “And my prices are good. We sell them by the pound. You can get a lot of treats in a bag and they don’t even hold a pound.”
Cat treats are among the specialty pet treats available.
“We have a wonderful organic cat nip,” she said.
There was once a franchise opportunity called Bone Appétit.
“There is a great Bone Appétit in Nashville, run by a good friend,” she said. “She helped me get this started. We’ll be working together on some things like selling wholesale for people who want to re-sell products.”
Another thing she can do is offer fundraising opportunities for area non-profits.
“Animal rescues and shelters can make money for their efforts through one of our fundraisers,” she said. “All the information for our fundraising opportunities are online.”
And with her grooming experience, she has decided to carry a line of show quality shampoos.
“You can’t really find these shampoos in the big box stores,” Kudlaty said. “I also have outfits and T-shirts for dogs.”
Kudlaty said she generally just puts a bandana on her dog, Athena.
“She’s a Doberman and weighs over 100 pounds,” she said. “She looks humiliated when you try to put clothes on her. She enjoys coming into the shop for awhile, but then gets bored.”
She said she had always had greyhound dogs in the past, but found Athena in a rescue situation.
“I’ve always had rescue dogs,” Kudlaty said. “I’ve always had dogs and a few cats.”
She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in animal behavior from DePauw University. Her master’s degree was completed in archeology at Indiana University.
“I worked at IU Bloomington as an archaeologist until I left to open my mobile grooming service six years ago,” she said.
The Bone Appétit Bakery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Summer hours will be longer. For more information, call 745-3250.