Meet our pal Chris: Barking up the treat tree in Maine!

BARKWHEATS, handmade in Stockton Springs, Maine, are quite unique dog treats. Each ½lb bag contains at least 25 treats, enclosed in packaging made from sustainably harvested cottonwood trees and 100% recycled paperboard. Completely biodegradable, it only takes about 2-3 months to fully degrade in your compost bin! Barkwheats, made with organic and local ingredients, are gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free, sugar-free, salt-free & preservative-free.

Why Dogs Love ‘Em On livestock farms, buckwheat “middlings” (the middle part of the buckwheat milling process after the white flour has been sifted out) are used as feed because of it’s super high protein content and very sweet taste. Even the most picky of dogs can not turn them down!

Centuries ago, peasant farmers in Asia began cultivating a highly nutritious and extremely hardy plant known today as buckwheat. Brought to the northeastern U.S. in the 17th century, buckwheat quickly became an Acadian tradition, used in pancakes and porridges. This miracle plant, now celebrated as a vital source of minerals and amino acids, is a wonderful food source for those who are intolerant of gluten. Despite the name, buckwheat isn’t wheat, nor is it even a grain. It is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb. Unlike other cereal grains, buckwheat is high in the essential amino acids lysine and arginine. With a generous amount of magnesium (86mg in 1 cup), it also relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow and nutrient delivery. And, it has been shown in studies to contribute to blood sugar control.

BARKWHEATS is one of my foundation store’s newest offerings, and its creator, Chris Roberts, has become my new pal (even though I kid him about being one of those scary 20-something dudes). He has been quite famous in his town of Stockton Springs, appearing on this wonderful news feature below.

Today, I got the cutest order for this product. But, it was confusing as it was purchased by a man named Paul, but being sent to “Jack”. And, Jack had no last name. That was a first as I’ve never received an order with solely a first name. So, I called Paul. It turns out that Paul, is a proud Maine resident, who was buying these treats for his granddog, Yellow Lab Jack. Jack is his daughter’s dog and they now live in Massachusetts.

Paul had seen this wonderful article below in the Bangor Daily News and knew he had to treat his favorite furry boy.

Stockton Springs: Barking up the treat tree
By Bangor Daily News Staff, August 1, 2008

"Ginger & Parsley" and "SeaVeg & Chamomile".  The design that each hand-crafted treat is stamped with symbolizes life, death, and rebirth, and reflects the company's baking and business practices.  (Bangor Daily News/Kate Collins)

A sheet of Barkwheat dog biscuits is ready for the oven in Chris Roberts' home bakery in Stockton Springs. The all-natural buckwheat dog biscuits come in two varieties: "Ginger & Parsley" and "SeaVeg & Chamomile". The design that each hand-crafted treat is stamped with symbolizes life, death, and rebirth, and reflects the company's baking and business practices. (Bangor Daily News/Kate Collins)

STOCKTON SPRINGS, Maine – Visit the test kitchen of Barkwheats Dog Biscuits — one of Maine’s newest and successful cottage industries — and it’s impossible to ignore Chris Roberts’ motivation for his booming new business. They’ll bark at you, give you wet kisses and sniff you with very cold noses. They’ll push open the kitchen door when you arrive and walk you to the car when you leave.

Baxter and Sabine — rescued mixed-breeds — are the two delightful inspirations behind Barkwheats. “I love my dogs and dogs like to eat,” Roberts said simply.

The 27-year-old entrepreneur has unleashed that love, mixed it with a passion for baking, added a hefty affection for local agriculture, and created a full-time business in less than nine months. From his first buckwheat dog biscuit — taste tested, of course, by Baxter and Sabine — Roberts knew he was on to something. Not only has he created an organic product that is in high demand, he also is satisfying his ethical desire to support Maine agriculture as well.

Barkwheats are crisp and delicious (yes, I tasted one; it was sort of like a gingersnap without the sweetness), and the treats are made from mostly Maine ingredients: honey, eggs, parsley, buckwheat and seaweed.

Chris Roberts feeds an all-natural Barkwheat biscuit to his dog Baxter in the yard of his Stockton Springs home.  Roberts crafts the nutritious buckwheat dog treats using local ingredients and also uses environmentally-friendly packaging and business practices.  (Bangor Daily News/Kate Collins)

Chris Roberts feeds an all-natural Barkwheat biscuit to his dog Baxter in the yard of his Stockton Springs home. Roberts crafts the nutritious buckwheat dog treats using local ingredients & also uses environmentally-friendly packaging and business practices. (Bangor Daily News/Kate Collins)

Click here to learn more of Chris’ story . . .

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