Dog lover Jack Penniket decided to open the Dog Barkery in Christchurch to help dog rescue organisations find homes for their canines.
Puppacinos, pup cakes, barkcuterie boards and a 3m-high deer fence won’t be your typical brunch hangout for your weekends, but if you are a dog lover it could be a must-visit from Saturday.
Christchurch’s new Dog Barkery opens this weekend to become New Zealand’s first adoptable dog cafe.
The man at the heart of the bakery/ cafe/ adoption centre, Jack Penniket, said the hardest part has been sorting a menu to cater for dogs and people simultaneously.
For starters the pup cakes don’t sound all that bad. Peanut butter, bacon and pumpkin – there could be a fight over who gets the first one, he said.
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“I have tried them myself, and you can get away with eating them. It has been odd catering for human and dogs.”
He’s working on a trademark for the barkcuterie board of meats, as he reckons it’s not been seen before.
At the core of the cafe, however, is a great cause – abandoned and homeless dogs. It will provide a place for three separate dog rescue organisations to bring along canines every Saturday and Sunday to find a caring owner.
A percentage of the profits will be returned to local dog shelters.
“I’ve been volunteering at dog rescues for the last five years now and always had a very soft spot for dogs and canine companions.
“The idea is to create a space that would have dogs’ best interests in mind, get these guys up for adoption.”
Originally from Australia, Penniket moved to Auckland seven years ago. Finding himself over the hustle and bustle and cost of living there, he came south. He is excited to see the Barkery finally come to fruition after a lot of fundraising and planning over the past two years.
”We’ve seen a few animal-themed cafes pop up around the world for a little bit now. I would really love to see a dog cafe on home soil,” he said.
The three organisations helping Penniket are the Dog Watch Sanctuary Trust, Greyhounds As Pets NZ, and Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue.
Each have dogs sent to them from right across New Zealand.
”We will be looking after the dogs, and have it as a more of event-based approach, hence the weekends work well.”
There will be no guarantee each day on whether a particular dog will be up for adoption, as it will depend on supply and demand.
Penniket has a soft spot for adoption dogs and has a bearded collie / border collie cross named Albus.
”He is wise and majestic. He lacks in the brain department which I love, he is a very goofy boisterous boy, but I love it.”
The Barkery is based in Christchurch’s riverside red zone, close to New Brighton.
Penniket said the aim was to provide a venue built around “the dog-human experience”.
“Our Christchurch cafe will sit right here in the red zone, with plenty of open space and indoor and outdoor seating,” he said.
“It’ll be completely dog-friendly.”