Buster and Friends – an artisan dog treat company

PUBLISHED: 00:00 16 March 2020

Karen Phillips of Buster and Friends with Buster the dog

Karen Phillips of Buster and Friends with Buster the dog

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A Bury company specialises in canine birthday cakes and dog-friendly versions of traditional biscuits

Buster and FriendsBuster and Friends

Karen Phillips founded Buster and Friends - an artisan dog treat company - last summer and already it has an army of fans.

'They love chief taster, Buster,' says Karen, who has trained in pet nutrition and now specialises in canine birthday cakes and dog-friendly versions of traditional biscuits such as custard creams, bourbons and jammie dodgers.

'I've found that owners want the best for their dogs and that's why I make sure they tempt both eye and the tastebuds, which is where Buster comes in. He is 14 now and has a host of dietary issues - that's one of the main reasons I began making my own treats - but, boy, is he fussy. He is chief taster and if he rejects any of my recipes then it doesn't get made. That said, his brother is a canine hoover and he's always on hand to finish the batch. I suppose that's why he is never going to be promoted to chief taster - no finesse!'

All Karen's recipes are made with human grade ingredients, all gluten free and can be made suitable for diabetics.

'When I'm at farmers' markets, there will invariably be one person who thinks they are human treats. I usually get there in time before they pop a sample into their mouths, but not always,' smiles Karen, who sends her doggy treats out to all corners of the UK.

If humans don't like the taste, they can always make their way along to Kwoff wine shop, owned and run by David Jones, with help from dad Peter and brother Robert. You might recognise David: he replaced Johnny Marr in The Cribbs.

Situated in an old bank, complete with a vault, it's a mixture of original fittings and recycled items; such as the counter which used to be a chemistry bench at Manchester University. Kwoff has over 800 wines sourced from independent suppliers, as well as sprits.

'The gin trend is ebbing a little, rum is rising but most of all, people are returning to wine,' says David who also employs a sommelier to help customers choose wine. 'We stock everything from boxset night wine to bottles retailing at £100, as well as some English wine which is on the up. After all, French champagne houses are now buying English soil, as their soil is becoming a touch too hot to grow grapes for sparkling wines.'

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