116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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When Kaitlyn Vriezelaar graduated from Kirkwood Community College's culinary and baking program in 2013, she didn't necessarily envision running a baking operation full-time from home, especially not one for canines.
But her love for dogs and a little bit of social media attention prompted her to combine her culinary talents and her love for pups into a home-based business.
'I started making dog cakes a few years ago to celebrate my dog's birthday,” she said. 'I believe that pets are family and deserve to be spoiled on their special day.
'I received a message from a friend suggesting I make a Facebook page for the business, and it has grown so much from there.”
Today, Kaitlyn's Pupcakes specializes in custom cakes and cookies for dogs for special occasions, such as birthdays, adoption days, training graduations or just because.
She operates her business in her licensed home bakery in Tiffin but serves customers around the Corridor.
'We also have a mobile doggy treat truck where we carry pupcakes, cookies, bandannas and toys on the go,” she said.
'Our pink mobile treat truck is named Maggie, and it helps us offer a unique experience for the owners and their pups.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, Vriezelaar's only co-workers are her dogs - Bella as branch manager, Lady as assistant branch manager and Ghost as quality control - who also appear on her logo.
'They get paid in treats and attention,” she laughed.
Each pupcake is designed based on the size of the dog, and there are different ingredients from which to choose.
Vriezelaar said she challenges herself to come up with new product offerings and designs. Being able to share them via her company's Facebook and Instagram - @kaitlynspupcakes - pages is fun, but keeping those up to date takes a fair amount of dedication, too.
'I absolutely love seeing photos or videos of the dogs enjoying their treats,” she said.
Vriezelaar said she also has found being a small-business owner rewarding for its networking opportunities.
'I've learned it's so important to meet other small business owners, and I've enjoyed collaborating with other businesses,” she said.
As with others in the food service industry, Vriezelaar has had to find ways to adapt during the pandemic, especially in terms of getting her products to customers safely.
'I offer no-contact pickup from my home. And I offer no-contact delivery up to a 30-mile radius from Tiffin.”
Vriezelaar said her pup truck also has no-contact payment options.
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