There’s no denying that the locavore movement is alive and kicking in the Twin Cities. Minnesota-harvested wild rice? A delicacy. Rainbow kale grown in your backyard raised-bed vegetable garden? Even better. Wild hen-of-the-woods mushrooms you noticed while walking the dog? Just be sure you properly ID them before feasting. But why should people have all the fun?
Happily, locavores have a wealth of options for their four-legged family members. From treats to meals and more, our home state produces a myriad of choices for the person wanting his or her pooch to eat well and reduce that carbon pawprint. Here are some of our favorites:
Raw Bistro—When Raw Bistro served up raw burgers to dogs at last spring’s AHS Walk for Animals, many pooches were indubitably hooked. That’s because this raw fare is sourced from the same local farms that human foodies drool over, such as Thousand Hills Cattle Company beef and Ferndale Market poultry. “Committed to thriving pets and a thriving planet,” Raw Bistro takes care to give ingredients like yams and grass-fed beef a starring role in dog treats and entrees.
Woody’s Pet Food Deli—Cornish hen, anyone? Woody’s stores in St. Paul and South Minneapolis will custom-mix a variety of mostly local, natural and organic ingredients to suit the unique health needs of your dog (or cat). From lamb to free-range chicken to pheasant to elk, Woody’s is dedicated to serving whole foods for your pet’s optimal nourishment and health. Want to know more? Check out our profile of them from 2010.
Sojos—Nordeast-based Sojo’s Pet Food thoughtfully creates all-natural, preservative-free mixes to which you add water or meat for quality “homemade” meals. Not the June Cleaver type when it comes to dog food? They also make a vast selection of scrumptious biscuit treats (Apple Dumpling and Chicken Pot Pie are two wholesome faves) available in many local shops, pet supply stores and co-ops.
Barkley’s Bistro—Last summer, we told you all about Barkley’s Bistro, the cool new bike-powered mobile “barkery” that serves up gourmet snacks at area dog parks, dog-friendly neighborhoods, special events, farmers’ markets and more. And talk about local: Barkley’s partners with local farmers when sourcing ingredients for their all-natural, made-in-small-batches treats. In the name of pleasing what they call “four-legged foodies,” they even have a vegetarian and gluten-free doggie delight: Lolly’s Peanut Butter Buttons.
Sister Joan’s Nutri-Bits Treats—You know that sweet, kind lady down the hall who always has a little something special for your pooch? That’s Sister Joan, only you don’t have to be her neighbor to score these tasty treats. All-natural Nutri-Bits, which the Benedictine nun began baking in her St. Paul monastery’s ovens, are now nationally distributed, complete with a be-haloed pup on the package.
Pumphouse Creamery—Naturally, we saved dessert for last! While they might be better suited to a hot July day, this Minneapolis shop’s doggie ice creams use local dairy products to create delectable treats specially suited to a dog’s digestive system. Sadie the Wonderdoodle gave it two paws up in a Treat Taste Test.