Bone Appetit offers clothing, gourmet treats for canines

Illini dog jerseys, pet seatbelts and freshly made dog treats are just a few of the items that Jennifer Landheer offers at Bone Appetit Pet Boutique and Bakery, 1912-B Round Barn Rd., Champaign, her store that opened Saturday.

Landheer, a 2001 graduate of animal sciences at the University, says she got the idea to open the store from a friend.

“I have a friend who owns a similar store in Decatur,” she said. “It always looked like she had so much fun, and we don’t really have anything like it here.”

Landheer hopes to make her store a more high-end place for owners to buy anything they need to spoil a pet.

“We emphasize customer service here,” she said. “We’ll do special orders, give a little more than just the average store.”

Another way that Landheer gives owners the opportunity to spoil their pets is through treats made in-store.

One aspect of these treats that separates them from others is the ingredients.

“The ingredients in the treats are natural, all things that you can buy at the grocery store,” she said. “I think people are a little more conscious of that today than they were in the past.”

The treats have also met her approval, as well as the approval of her dog.

“I’ve taste tested the treats myself,” she said. “My dog has also been doing taste testing, she’s starting to get a little pudgy.”

The kitchen in the store has a mixer to make the dough, an oven and a machine that flattens the dough before it is cut to make the treats.

“It’s just like baking cookies at home,” she said.

Animals are also welcome customers at the store.

“Any pet on a leash is welcome to the store,” she said.

Bringing a pet into the store will also help with the services offered.

“We have some unique collars and leashes,” Landheer said. “We can size them, and it helps if you bring your pet in.”

Store employee Sara Butcher said that she enjoys the atmosphere at Bone Appetit.

“It’s a relaxing atmosphere and a fun place to work,” she said. “I also like to work with animals.”

Another employee, Jeny Howt, agrees that working at the store will be good experience.

“I definitely want to work with animals some day,” Howt said.

Landheer also explained her feelings toward opening a store in the current economy.

“I know it’s a little scary with the economy to start a business,” she said.

“But I know a lot of people like to treat their pet, and we have a nice wide range of prices so everyone can get a little something to spoil their pet.”