When Lisa St. Clair started baking dog treats in her kitchen 11 years ago, it would be easy to say that she ‘never dreamed her business would grow so fast,’ but the truth is, St. Clair had a sincere passion for her startup from the beginning, knowing full well that her gourmet, all-natural dog treats would be a hit. “I had a feeling it would be a success…actually, I was a little bit scared of it,” quipped St. Clair as she gave us a tour of her ever-expanding facility in Millsboro, Delaware. With anywhere from 18,000 to 30,000 treats being a made each day, it’s no wonder we have been seeing the popular dog treats more and more lately. After a positive review from our resident ShoreBread dog, we knew we needed to learn more.
“It all started on my kitchen counter,” said St. Clair of Tail Bangers humble beginnings. After spending several years in the restaurant world, St. Clair decided to put her culinary degree to work, combining it with her passion for dogs. She spent a year and a half testing recipes at various craft shows and street fairs, before hitting her first major trade show. “And that’s when this whole thing really started. Now, it really has a life of its own.”
All of the treats are made by hand, including the dipping and decorating. The manufacturing takes place entirely on-site, which has the feeling of Santa’s Workshop this time of year as thousands upon thousands of seasonal treats are churned out. According to St. Clair, they are in the middle of their busy season, which starts around back-to-school time and runs straight through New Year’s. “Christmas is always busy; it starts around August every year. Football season is actually huge in the dog world too.” In fact, St. Clair and her team have been so busy lately that they are expanding into a neighboring building to make more space for production and decorating.
Currently, the treats are available online and shipped all over the continental US. The all-natural treats are also available in stores throughout the US and Canada, as well as on Amazon Treat, HappyDogShop.com, and Google Shopping. Of course you can always stop in the Millsboro location to pick up treats and to enjoy a free tour. We spotted several curious dog owners enjoying the free tour while we were chatting with St. Clair, who was friendly and welcoming to each and every person that wandered in the door, making sure to inquire about the canine companions in their lives. Meanwhile, one of St. Clair’s five dogs was on the scene, enjoying every minute of life at a dog treat factory. “Oscar comes with me every day,” she said. “Actually he will get pretty mad if not.” And who can blame him?
All of the Tail Bangers treats are all-natural and handmade. The healthy and flavorful treats are made entirely of human-grade ingredients, including 100% whole grains, real eggs, real cheese, real bacon, and fresh ground peanuts. Of course their decorations are worth noting as well, looking every bit like a cookie we would chow down on (don’t worry, we didn’t). “You can eat anything we make here,” assured St. Clair. “It’s just going to be a little dry to you.” Birthday bones and bundt cake, canine cannolis, pup pastries, pawcan twirls, waggiolis…the list goes on and on, and that doesn’t even cover the special holiday offerings. Needless to say our ShoreBread pup was quite pleased with the goodie bag we came home with after the interview.
Interested in learning more about Tail Bangers? Take your own tour (which is dog-friendly by the way), visit their site, or follow them on Facebook. With the holidays approaching, the holiday line of treats is the perfect gift for your fellow dog lover and a great way to keep in line with buying local this holiday season.