Lawrenceville has gone to the dogs.
As vice president of bark-eting for Salty Paws, the first canine ice cream bar in Pennsylvania, Stormy the Newfoundland likes it that way.
When she’s not tearing through the place, the enormous pup often sits by the shop window at 4126 Butler St. welcoming customers with a wagging tail while her boss, owner Jessica Kury, whips up batches of cool treats.
All the paw-sibilities
Flavors of the sugar and dairy-free ice cream range from vanilla, banana cream and pumpkin to blueberry, bacon and cheddar cheese. Top it off with dehydrated rabbit, venison or beef and your pooch will be in doggie heaven.
Salty Paws uses lactose-free whole milk or whole goat’s milk as the base for the ice cream, along with gelatin, salt and natural flavors. Dogs can enjoy the desserts on-site in a cup, cone or waffle bowl and then beg their owners to buy powdered ingredients to take home.
Everything in the parlor is human-grade, but it probably won’t taste very good to the average bipedal foodie. (Stormy begrudgingly admits cats can eat the stuff, too. Even a pet skunk patronized Salty Paws this month.)
More than re-tail
There’s also a wide selection of bow-wow baked goods made in the United States by a small assortment of vetted vendors. At the Bone and Collagen Bar, pups can find chews and jerky. The store also sells toys, accessories, novelty items and even beer for dogs.
Lists of ingredients are available and people are welcome to discuss their animal’s dietary needs with Kury, who spent four years as director of volunteer and foster programs for the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, an organization that’s now known as Humane Animal Rescue.
The Gibsonia native grew up with a menagerie of animals. So, Salty Paws is a dream come true for her. At the beginning of 2021, Kury left her job with the Special Olympics Pennsylvania to open the franchise, one of seven in the country.
She found out about Salty Paws online, contacted the company owner and was open for business on Nov. 20.
There are already four-legged regulars who stop by every day for a bite or even just a quick tour of the 1,850-square-foot space, which is painted light blue, a color dogs can see. More than 250 shoppers and their furry companions came out for the grand opening.
Kury offers doggie catering and will even rent the storefront for events during off hours. Salty Paws is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
She plans to partner with local animal shelters to raise funds for and awareness of homeless animals. Stormy and Buzz, Kury’s Labrador retrievers, are both rescues.
“Everything that I’ve ever done in my life brought me to this place,” says Kury, whose first job was at an ice cream stand. “It’s such a fun, happy place, where I not only get to see dogs every day, but I get to see the best side of people.”
In this dog-eat-dog world, we could all use more of that.