Three Dog Bakery in Zionsville is Finding Success Serving Up Fresh-Baked Treats for Pups
Writer: Jon Shoulders
Photographer: Amy Payne
When Christy Zeller realized it was time for a career change, she knew she had to find a way to make use of her passion for animals to make the next step in her professional life truly fulfilling.
Zeller had been working in the medical sales field, and spending much of her free time with three dogs of her own – two boxers, Bailey and Simon, and a beagle named Trudy. While casually scrolling through the official website for Three Dog Bakery, where she had become a regular customer, she noticed that the company offered franchising opportunities and realized that such an endeavor would combine both her love for animals and her sales experience.
“I knew that if I was going to make a career switch, I felt like I was young enough and in a good enough position to make a real change,” Zeller says. “I had been a customer at another Three Dog Bakery for years and loved it. When I figured out that it was a franchise, I convinced my husband to just get some information and look into it.”
Zeller noticed the amount of pedestrian and dog-walking traffic in and around Zionsville, her husband Brett’s hometown, and figured Main Street would be a prime spot for the Three Dog Bakery concept. The couple officially opened their store on July 9, 2016, and since then Zeller has spent nearly every day at her establishment baking custom, all-natural treats with help from Brett and her small staff.
“What separates us from other types of pet stores is that we’re a bakery, and our treats are all made in-house,” Zeller says. “Those are the big sellers, and our chews are also always really popular. We love seeing all kinds of dogs in the store, and we have plenty of regulars now. There’s just a ton of dogs in this area, and it’s a very wholesome, family-oriented place.”
Inside the store, dogs often gravitate toward Zeller’s glass bakery case and drool over fresh-baked items like Pupcakes, Peanut Mutter Cookies and Drooly Cream Bars. Working in the exposed kitchen where customers can see their baked goods made from scratch daily, Zeller and her staff work hard on each and every baked creation, and will even craft personalized cakes for special events and celebrations. The store also stocks prepackaged Three Dog Bakery treats like Classic Crèmes and Wafers in several flavors.
You’ll also find a wide selection of accessories, toys, books, gift sets and novelty pet items like party hats for dog birthdays – there’s even a line of clothing called Ruffwear, which Zeller jokes is “like the Patagonia brand for dogs.”
Founded in 1989, Three Dog Bakery is a worldwide chain with more than 40 locations in the U.S., Canada and Hong Kong, and currently features four locations in Central Indiana. The company’s products and ingredients are made entirely in the U.S., and include no artificial colors or flavorings.
“The community has been very receptive,” Zeller says. “Zionsville is everything we hoped it would be. Foot traffic is a huge part of our business because dogs are welcome to the store – and in fact encouraged – so that’s something we were really looking for. The other thing is that our store is very much a boutique, and we pride ourselves on having more quality items and put a lot of thought into what we carry in the store.”
Three Dog Bakery is located at 120 South Main Street in Zionsville. For more information including product details and hours of operation, call 317-344-0070 or visit threedog.com.