National Dog Week, which ends on Sunday, was launched to help dog owners take care of their pets more responsibly. Scott Beaudry and Theresa Chu are taking that mission a step further by creating Barley Labs LLC, a new small business in Durham that sells all-natural dog treats made from recycled barley left over from the beer-brewing process.
Scott and Theresa took up the hobby of home brewing a few years back, and adopted their Lab mix from a shelter around the same time. The pair named her Barley, which eventually helped inspire the name of their company.
“We took her name, which also happens to be the primary ingredient of the treats, and combined it with her Lab-mix breed,” Theresa says. “And Barley Labs was born."
Barley’s sensitive stomach also influenced the recipe. The treats are oven-baked to give them a long shelf life and avoid the use of preservatives, and, aside from flavor, the ingredients are just barley, flour and eggs.
"It was important to us to limit the number of ingredients and to make sure those ingredients were natural,” Theresa says.
Barley Labs currently has peanut butter and pumpkin treats available online and at Fullsteam Brewery, which is where they get their barley. Scott and Theresa hope to get the treats into more stores soon.
The co-owners are also planning on using some of the proceeds to help local animals. Ten cents from every bag sold will be donated to the Animal Protection Society of Durham.
"We adopted Barley in 2009 from a shelter in Chicago," Scott says. "Without that shelter, who knows what would have happened to her. We'd like to try to give back so that other dogs have a chance at a good home like Barley did."