BY SARA SHEIKH
After working in the travel industry and owning two other businesses, Susan Rice decided it was time to do something completely different, so in 1997 she opened Bone Appetit, a gourmet dog treat bakery in Nashville, Indiana. The 66-year-old Indianapolis resident says she was familiar with Nashville and the Brown County area thanks to her family’s house on Sweetwater Lake.
“Nashville is a great place to do business,” Rice says. “It’s one of the most laid-back places that you’ll ever find, and it has such a religious following with repeat tourism business.”
While shoppers can find pet items such as durable dog leashes, collars, and toys at Bone Appetit, Rice estimates 65 percent of the store’s sales come from dog treats. “We were one of the first dog treat places in the state to use human-grade ingredients and no preservatives,” Rice says.
Whether customers prefer grain-free or low-fat dog treats or treats made without soy, wheat, or corn, Bone Appetit has something for every dog. The store offers a selection of more than 20 snacks, but Rice notes that furry, four-legged friends seem particularly fond of bacon and cheddar treats and peanut butter and honey treats. The store’s bulk selection, which allows customers to mix and match treats for $8.59 per pound, is also popular.
Bone Appetit is not exclusively for dogs; the store offers a few house-made cat treats. And Rice notes that Bone Appetit’s dog treats do appeal to other animals. “We’re all inclusive,” Rice says. “People have bought our treats for horses, rabbits, even white mice.”
Rice says connecting with her customers has made owning Bone Appetit a great experience for nearly 20 years.
“One of the things I love about this business is that pet lovers are just some of the nicest people that you’ll ever come across. The customers that we get are just different,” Rice says. “It’s always fun to turn something great and interesting into something that can make you a living.”
Customers can place online orders or check Bone Appetit’s hours at barkingood.com. Bone Appetit is located in Nashville at 211 S. Van Buren St.