With an ardent desire to combine her passion for cooking with her love of animals, Melissa Gruenhagen decided to start Give A Doggy A Bone, an all-natural and preservative-free dog treat company.
Throughout the years, Melissa, a long-time resident of Cincinnati, has been involved with animal welfare and rescue. Eventually becoming Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Tom Green County Humane Society (during her time) in San Angelo, Texas. She also started their first Walk-A-Dog-Athon, which is now celebrating its 30th anniversary.
When she isn't crafting homemade dog biscuits, Melissa loves to cook, garden, facilitate home repairs, decorate, and get her hands on DIY projects.
Describing her inspiration and the creative process behind developing her line of pet products, she said:
"I found a recipe for dog bones and decided to put my spin on things. It called for chicken broth, so I found all kinds of other broth--like shrimp, lobster, pork roast, etc. I used to have lots and lots of different flavors until I found that all people really want is...simplicity: either peanut butter or chicken."
After deciding to stick with those flavors, Melissa was able to exercise her creativity in the biscuit shape and topping combinations. Originally purchasing food coloring-free sprinkles from Whole Foods, Melissa found herself without a supplier when the sprinkle company went out of business. But, this didn't stop her!
Determined to find a new alternative, Melissa started making her own sprinkles! She uses coconut flakes that she colors with fruit and vegetable juices. She loves the way they look so much that she is planning to get her all-natural sprinkles certified by the USDA for human consumption!
Melissa loves being a member of the Celebrate Local (CL) family and describes her experience as invaluable. She loves having the Easton Town Center and Liberty Center communities as test markets for new products. She also notes Pegge, CL's regional manager, as a top resource for encouragement, and packaging advice and ideas.