New Grand Forks 'barkery' has treats for four-legged friends

After 18 years of owning her own dog day care business, Hagen has added on to her dog care business by selling gourmet dog treats via Ruffing It Barkery, which is run out of the same building as Ruffing It Doggie Day Care.

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Joy Hagen decorates treats for sale at the Ruffing It Barkery in Grand Forks.
Jacob Holley
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GRAND FORKS — The idea to venture out and try something new occurred to Joy Hagen completely by accident.

“My grooming (business) just had too much dead space, and it was just more for them to kind of clean up, the hair and all that stuff,” Hagen said. “So I said, ‘Well, let's just move you guys to this one area.’ And then I ended up having this big space open, so I was trying to figure out what to do with it.”

After 18 years of owning her own dog day care business, Hagen has added on to it by selling gourmet dog treats as Ruffing It Barkery, which is run out of the same building as Ruffing It Doggie Day Care.

Before settling on baking and selling dog treats, Hagen brainstormed through a few ideas, including a puppy kindergarten class area before the idea suddenly came to her.

“I thought, ‘You know what? We don't have a dog bakery here,’” Hagen said. “And I know people are really big into celebrating their dogs’ birthdays and things like that now. Nobody does that, so I want to do that.”


Ruffing It Barkery specializes in baking dog-safe treats in-house, including cookies, cakes and more. Its main ingredients are all-natural peanut butter, pumpkin, unsweetened applesauce, honey, whole wheat flour and eggs, as well as bacon, cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese.

“It's all stuff that we can eat,” Hagen said. “You can pick up one of those cookies and eat it. It just doesn't have all the sugar that we're used to, so it doesn't taste very good.”

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A plate of dog treats at Ruffing It Barkery, which Joy Hagen started inside her business Ruffing It Doggie Day Care.
Jacob Holley

Hagen hired a baker specifically to make the treats. She said she will eventually hire someone to do the decorating, but for now she does all of it.

Ruffing It Barkery always has cookies on tap, which are usually peanut butter-flavored and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Bacon and cheddar cheese cookies have also been popular, and so have pretzels.

“We do things like mini donuts, pup s’mores (and) things like that,” Hagen said. “Usually all those are always in stock too.”

Ruffing It Barkery does take custom orders ahead of time, but Hagen said she hasn’t received any so far. She noted her bakery gives people the option of buying treats for their dogs that are locally sourced and prepared instead of having items shipped in from somewhere else.

It’s not the first time DEDCO has stepped in to try to save a local necessity in Drayton. In 2012, DEDCO completed a similar project to draw a restaurant back to the town.

“We'll do custom birthday cakes,” Hagen said. “I know a lot of people order that stuff on Etsy and have it shipped to them. We don't use any preservatives and me or something either so it's all-natural.”

So far, Hagen said the feedback from customers has been “really good” as she continues to perfect the business. Customers have sent her videos of their dogs scarfing down her treats.


“Dogs are just so much more spoiled than they used to be,” Hagen said. “They're part of the family now. If you're going to get a Starbucks, you get your dog pup cup. So now, if you're going to have a cake pop from Starbucks, you can get your dog a cake pop here.”

Related Topics: LOCAL BUSINESS
Jacob Holley joined the Grand Forks Herald as its business reporter in June 2021.

Holley's beat at the Grand Forks Herald is broad and includes a variety of topics, including small business, national trends and more.

Readers can reach Holley at him on Twitter @JakeHolleyMedia.
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