Thanks to Suzanne Manthey, canines all over Whidbey can enjoy treats just as much as their humans.
While others may have been planting gardens or kneading bread in 2020, Manthey’s “quarantine” hobby became baking dog biscuits for her two rescue pups, Mesa and Murray. The latter pooch is part of the logo for Wags of Whidbey, Manthey’s biscuit-baking business.
“I’m not a self-proclaimed baker at all,” said Manthey, who is more accustomed to bartending and other front-of-house duties at Prima Bistro and Saltwater Fish House and Oyster Bar in Langley, where she has been employed.
Fortunately, Manthey was allowed to experiment with baking in the kitchen of Prima Bistro.
“I think I did cry a couple of times, like, ‘What am I thinking? I’m not a baker,’” the South Whidbey resident recalled with a laugh. “I had a lot of batches that were pretty funny.”
Manthey consulted her veterinarian sister-in-law about dog-friendly ingredients for all ages and breeds, such as peanut butter, pumpkin, carob, apples and bananas.
“I honestly started with things that I really liked to eat,” she said.
She tests out seasonal ingredients, like cranberries, for holiday flavors.
Besides being a snack for Fido, humans might also enjoy the treats.
“I’ve had many, dipped in peanut butter especially,” she said. “They literally taste like a cookie without sugar.”
Within one week, she can make 1,500 individual hand-cut biscuits, using cookie-cutter shapes such as bones, hearts, whales and clams.
“It’s just so fun. It’s pretty chill,” she said. “I can hang out with my dogs and I’m their number one fan because I’m making them food.”
She has especially found solace in the baking activity while taking time off work to heal from a leg injury.
Wags of Whidbey dog treats are available at Seabiscuit Bakery, Madrona Supply Co. and Artisan Crafted Home. Recently, Manthey started selling the goods through Whidbey Island Grown, a co-op of farmers, restaurants and community members selling locally grown and produced foodstuffs.
“Wag Bags” are available through the online food hub for $15.34 each. Manthey said she has had to increase her number of bags available for purchase since she has sold out some weeks.