The Paw-fect Treat for your Furry Friend
When Trixie Calapatia started Bear and Belle’s Bakery, the desire for a healthier lifestyle for her and her family was the goal and the motivation. Her family includes two furry friends, Mozart and Lucille.
“I started to realize the ingredients found in the processed foods I had at home truly lacked real nutrition, even more so in the treats and food I was feeding my two dogs. I love as my dogs, Mozart & Lucille as my own children so I knew I had to do something about it. I began looking into recipes of creating healthier dog treats for my pups, which I then began to give out to neighborhood dogs during the pandemic. Friends and family started asking for the treats as well and then one day my oldest daughter said why not have it become a business!,” shares Trixie about the start of her business.
Bear & Belle’s Bakery, named after her two daughters Audrey “Bear” & Zoe “Belle”, started in July 2020. The dog treats she bakes are healthy, organic, and a hundred percent safe for dogs. She uses ingredients such as peanut butter, blueberries, bananas, pumpkin, brown eggs, steel cut oats, and whole wheat flour. She even bakes pupcakes and woof-fles made of pumpkin. But, of course, her secret ingredient for all her treats is love!
Her Bear Bite treats are named after her eldest daughter who gifted her with her first bear cookie cutter. Her Bunny Bites are named after her youngest because she’s full of energy. It’s also a treat that has no peanut butter since her youngest daughter is allergic to it. The Bluebird Bites are named after Trixie: a mash up of Bear and Bunny bites with a splash of blueberries (also, her favorite color is blue, especially Tiffany Blue, the color of their logo.
When asked about what her bestseller is Trixie responds: “Everything I bake is a best seller! It truly depends on what the customer (the dogs) want and need in their diet or taste buds! The Bear Bites are peanut butter based & are great for teething puppies. The Bunny Bites are our vegan recipe and they’re best for dogs with egg and dairy allergies. The Bluebird Bites are jam-packed with blueberries and are usually the huge hit for pups, dogs, and humans alike! Yes, humans! Did I forget to mention? All of our baked goodies are human-grade!”.
Bear & Belle’s Bakery’s started doing pop-up events in May 2021. They’ve done over 15 pop ups in cities such as Van Nuys, Pasadena, Northridge, Burbank & Historic Filipinotown. One of her favorite events are held at Café Aficionado in Northridge because the owners of that café, Abigail and Reggie Cua, have been an inspiration, great role models, taught her amazing entrepreneur lessons and they are always about the community.
“A few challenges I’ve encountered starting my business was getting the funds, and organizing the time in running my bakery. This is a one woman show, mother of four (two humans & two fur babies) but with the support, volunteering days, donations, & love I’ve been given from family, friends and new found “furends” running this business has become more and more easier in learning about time management, and knowing when I need to ask for help! The fact that so many people continue believing in my vision aids me in my fuel to keep on doing what I proudly call my career,” adds Trixie about her journey as an entrepreneur.
” The advice I would love to give anyone wanting to start their own business is BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Continue to thrive and thirst yourself in learning, creating, learning some more. When you feel like you’ve made a mistake, take is as a lesson learned & know that through those mistakes, greatness is created! Never loose sight of what really matters, take time to unwind, touch base with life, family, nature & all it’s awesomeness. When it’s overwhelming its okay to take a moment to breathe. And when all the blessings come running at you left & right, take it! Be proud of it & remember to tell yourself “I did it!” Dreams do come true as long as you make it come true. Hard work pays off. And kindness goes a long way.”
As for future plans, Trixie envisions having Bear & Belle’s Bakery in a adorably decorated dog bakery themed airstream, driving around all of California, popping up at dog parks, dog beaches, farmers markets & other pop up events bringing wagging tails and happy bellies to all of our canine “furends”.
Follow Trixie on Instagram @bearandbellebakery and order some healthy treats for your furry family member!