Bones Du Jour is a local dog treat shop that bakes up treats so good, you'll wish you were a dog! These homemade bakery dog biscuits and snacks are sure to be a joy for your furry friend These are natural, gourmet dog treats made with local and regionally sourced ingredients. No preservatives, additives or sweeteners are added. Bones Du Jour also has low fat and grain free options available. We were so excited to talk with Sue Carroll, owner of Bones Du Jour, in this week's community connections.
What do you love about Fort Collins?
What’s not to love! Fort Collins has something for everyone; art, music, DOGS, beer, bikes, hiking, shopping, sports, nature and the list goes on. It’s a special place that I’m glad to call home.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Fort Collins?
Walking my dog or bird watching at one of the many Fort Collins and Larimer County natural areas is a favorite past time of mine. Observing nature allows me time to recharge my mind and spirit. As a small business owner, I don’t have as much time as I would like to visit these special places that were so thoughtfully set aside for us to enjoy. They are very important to the flora and fauna of our area, education of our children, citizens and visitors to Fort Collins community.
Supporting local businesses, going to farmers’ markets and eating at locally owned restaurants are also top of my list for fun things to do in the city. Quiet mornings with my husband and I having a leisurely breakfast at one of the many family owned restaurants is always a great way to start any day of the week. I love the breweries, although I’m far from a beer connoisseur, I love the atmosphere of the breweries, and of course, I’m a fan of anywhere (taproom, patio, hiking trails) that dogs are allowed.
What makes your Bones Du Jour unique?
Bones Du Jour is a one-of-a-kind locally owned and operated dog treat bakery in Fort Collins. Everything is made right here in Fort Collins and it’s been that way for almost two decades. I personally make every treat, cutting them out one at a time, just like you would make them in your own kitchen. I use the highest quality ingredients available and source ingredients as locally as possible. There is a retail space in the front of my bakery and you can see the treats being made or packaged right through the dog bone window! The door is open too, and you’re invited to step right into the bakery and watch how treats go from raw ingredients to fun and tasty treats.
One of the reasons I make small batch treats is that I can control the quality and freshness of every biscuit. Baked to order with the goal to make your dog the tastiest, freshest dog treats to enjoy eating every day. Special treats and cakes for birthdays, adoption days and any celebration you might be sharing with your dog.
When you visit the bakery, you will notice it is very small with limited storage space. Treats are made and solidify very quickly after they are baked. No cases of treats waiting on storage shelves for months or up to a year to be sold! Each package has a "baked on" date so you know when it came out of the oven. I don’t use preservatives, sweeteners (of any kind) or added oils in my treats. Cakes have a bit of sugar, but its cake and not meant to be a daily part of your dog’s diet!
What is the story behind how you started Bones Du Jour?
Bones Du Jour unofficially started many decades ago when I had a Search and Rescue dog named Gypsy. She was an adorable terrier mix, about 35 to 40 pounds and one of my teammates gave me a recipe for dog treats. Gypsy loved them but I quickly went to work changing the ingredients to organic and locally sourced ingredients. The overly processed enriched flours were upgraded to organic stone ground flours. The original recipe was very fat laden, so out went the oils and they were replaced with organic chicken broth and buffalo liver stock. It tastes better, and mostly it’s better for your dog.
Fast forward a couple of dogs, I had decided to try making them for the local farmers’ market and began selling them in 2003. After making them in my home and overloading my very small kitchen, my dog at the time, Buddy (a lab and most likely Newfoundland mix, huge at 112 pounds with a personality to match and a dog sense of humor like no other I have known), would drag pounds of neatly rolled out dough into the yard if I answered the phone and didn’t pay attention to him. Buddy’s dough stealing shenanigans and biscuit embezzlement was just the push I needed to move my baking operation out of the house and into its own space. I shared a kitchen for a short time, then I began renting my own space and I’ve been at 1720 W. Mulberry #B8 for over five years now. It’s a quaint little bakery and I consider City Park and Sheldon Lake my break room, truly the best break room on the planet!
Tell us about yourself...
I think I was always destined to work with animals in one way or another. I was born in a small town in Iowa and delivered into this world by the hands of a veterinarian. He had gone back to medical school and had become the town doctor but my family knew him originally as the veterinarian. Following that introduction to life, I was raised by an animal loving family and we moved to Greeley, Colorado when I was in the fourth grade.
I don’t remember ever being without a dog or some sort of animal. When I was young I had many pocket pets (mice, hamsters, small turtles, hermit crabs) and the only time I didn’t have a dog was for a couple of years in college when I lived in the dorms but I still had a faithful dog back home. I graduated with a degree in Agricultural Business from Colorado State University. While attending CSU I showed a sheep, milked cows and continued to work in the dairy industry, including at the CSU dairy for a few years after graduating. At CSU, I worked in the heifer replacement area and fed calves from birth until they were ready to be bred.
I spent a few years grooming dogs and then working as a vet tech and office receptionist for a veterinarian. I worked for over 11 years as an emergency services dispatcher and communications supervisor for the Fort Collins Police Department, Poudre Fire Authority and Poudre Valley Hospital Paramedics. I didn’t work with animals in my communications position, but during those years I volunteered for the WildKind program at Larimer Humane Society. I have volunteered most of my life after graduation from high school and I loved the WildKind program which rehabilitated and fed birds, bats, snakes, raccoons, squirrels, baby beavers, you name it. It was during the volunteer experience at Larimer Humane Society that I adopted the first of my turtles. I still have her today, nearly 25 years later.
I guess I have been caring for and feeding animals most of my life, some of them traditional cats and dogs with a few reptiles, crustaceans, pocket pets, dairy calves and wild life in the mix.
What do you want visitors to experience at Bones Du Jour?
Bones Du Jour is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I’m quite often at a farmers’ market on the weekends or a holiday show, and you are welcome to stop by there as well. When I’m at the bakery the door is always open. You and your dog are always welcome to come right in. If you find yourself at the bakery without your dog, dog stories and pictures are encouraged!
Hopefully, you will end up at Bones Du Jour on a baking day. Take a deep breath, it’s okay the treats really do smell great when they are baking regardless of what flavor is in the oven. Customers are often amazed at how wonderful the treats smell and it smells 40 times better to your dog!
We have great treats for your dogs’ that are with you, treats perfect to take home after your Fort Collins’ stay, great gifts for your dog sitter or boarding staff, and I can even ship gifts if you don’t want to fill up your suitcase with dog snacks.
Bones Du Jour is more than a dog treat bakery, it’s a place to share stories, find information, fill up your water bottle and get answers to any questions you might have about your visit and your pets.
(All photos courtesy of Bones Du Jour)
Address 1720 W. Mulberry #B8
Hours of Operation: Tuesday through Thursday 10 am to 5 pm and by appointment