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Arton and Bitler - delicious doggy treats from Higher Walton

PUBLISHED: 00:00 26 January 2015 | UPDATED: 10:50 11 January 2016

Belle, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a dog birthday cake

Belle, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a dog birthday cake

Archant

Higher Walton’s Nichola Arton tells us why people have been going barking mad for her delicious doggy treats.

A selection of productsA selection of products

It’s barking mad that Nichola Arton’s business revolves around dogs - she spent half of her life frightened of our four legged friends. ‘I had a great fear of dogs until I was about 14,’ said Nichola, now 28. ‘My parents then bought a dog and I’ve been crazy about them ever since.’

The textile graduate from the University of Central Lancashire set up her company, Arton and Bitler, last year after creating dog collars from different fabrics. However, it has now developed in a way that really takes the biscuit - a dog biscuit, of course.

‘I work at my parents’ garden centre, Flower Factory, during the day and I just found myself coming back in at night and messing about with fabrics and designs.’

Due to Nichola’s previous background with textiles, she developed her skills and soon had a colourful collection of collars and dog leads.

Honey, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel keeping her eye on some Doggy DoughnutsHoney, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel keeping her eye on some Doggy Doughnuts

She already had the perfect models to debut her designs - her three Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Petal and her two offspring, Belle and Honey.

‘I attended my first market in Manchester in July to sell the collars and leads,’ said Nichola, who lives at Higher Walton. ‘That was when I initially baked the doggy doughnuts. I sold them on the stand alongside my designs and people just loved them!’

After some research into the types of foods suitable for dogs, Nichola set about creating a wide range of doggie treats. From the popular doggy doughnuts and birthday cakes to peanut butter biscuits and chicken and flackseed twists, the entrepreneur bakes late into the night to sell to a range of customers from her website. ‘I’ve shipped birthday cakes all over the country, up to Scotland and down to Kent,’ she said. ‘I recently received an order for a cake to be sent out to Paris – which is just crazy.’

Despite the treats sounding over-indulgent for pets, they are all relatively healthy and packed full of ingredients to help maintain a shiny coat and strong bones. Nichola added that she can also bake gluten free cheese and apple treats for dogs with allergies.

‘It becomes quite a personal experience as I get to know all of the dogs I bake bespoke cakes for. I learn what they
like and dislike and their different personalities,’ said Nichola

‘Often, the owners send me a photograph of their pet with a party hat on ready to enjoy their cake. It’s quite funny.

‘In the future, I would love to have a doggie café with a little boutique to sell things such as collars and coats.

‘I am also thinking about creating a range of cushions and dog beds with Belle’s face as a design.’

To find out more go to www.artonandbitler.com

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