Daisy Nicolas is a bit of a saint to Alaska dogs.
This autumn, Nicolas opened her new business, Drool Central: A Mum & Pup Barkery. She has been selling her homemade canine treats and meals at the South Anchorage Winter Market. She will be at the market again from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Dimond Center.
Nicolas spent the summer working in the Bush, but upon returning to Anchorage she was looking for a job that involved working with animals.
"There were no jobs available that suited my passion," she says. "So I thought I would green light the back burning wish I had ... start a bake-and-sell business. I thought to focus on dog treats and dog meals using Alaska's resources and produce these products for canine's nutritional needs excluding artificial flavorings, artificial substitutions, salt, sugar, spices, garlic, onions and other unnecessary stuff.
"Once I realized that there is a market for local Alaskan dog treats, I thought I could establish partnerships or support within the Anchorage and Alaskan community. A local fish purveyor, Favco, has been supplying wild Alaska fish; Alaska Flour Company out in the Delta Junction, with barley flour; and broken carrots and other fresh but not-pretty-to-sell veggies by the farmers from the Saturday Winter Market. The homemade dog treats are handcrafted painstakingly with each morsel containing Alaska's rich protein resources. Other ingredients are supermarket-grade."
Some Drool Central goodies include:
Liverfish Treat Pouch ($5): A 5-ounce treat pouch packed with fish liver, eggs, and Alaska barley flour.
Moon Liver Chicken Treat Pouch ($5): A 5-ounce bag of handmade treats of chicken liver, eggs, ground egg shells, Alaska organic barley flour and vegetable shortening.
Salmondore Treat Pouch ($5): A 5-ounce package of treats made with a salmon puree including skin and bones. The treats also include Alaska organic barley flour and eggs.
Dem Bones ($3): Three dog bones made of Alaska salmon and carrots, eggs, oatmeal and barley flour.
Pumpkin Chicken Muttfin ($3.50): The package includes four mini-muffins made of chicken, pumpkin, oats, Alaska barley flour and eggs.
Fish Bowl ($5.95): The 14-ounce meal comes frozen and should be thawed before feeding to Fido. It includes a selection of cooked and pureed wild Alaska salmon, cod or sablefish. The meal also has carrots, green beans and oatmeal.
For more information or to order online, visit www.droolcentral.com. Nicolas says a portion of online sales will be donated to Dollars for Dogs of Anchorage.
At the markets
Saturday is the final South Anchorage Winter Market. But in the middle of winter, market organizer Arthur Keyes is already thinking ahead.
"It's hard to believe that in just six weeks we will begin planting for the 2014 season," he says. "I guess time really does fly when you're having fun!"
Vendors at Saturday's market include Drool Central, Arctic Choice Seafoods, Stockwell Family Farm, Northern Lights Mushrooms, Earthworks Farm and Glacier Valley Farm. The market is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. upstairs at the Dimond Center.
The Center Market is closed on both Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The market will be open Saturday and again Jan. 4. The market is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays inside the Mall at Sears.
Alex Davis of A.D. Farm will be at the market on Saturday with carrots, beets, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, pork products (chops, steaks, sausage, liver and other items) and eggs.
Alaska Vegan & Gluten Free will have two new items available on Saturday - pesto sauce and San Marzano tomato sauce. Regular items returning this week include split pea soup, carrot ginger soup, roasted beets and sweet potato soup, red beans and brown rice with pico de gallo, roasted Brussels sprouts, fresh pico de gallo, corn chips and petit baguettes.
Tilgner's Ruby Red Smoked Sockeye will again be at the market again with the cold-smoked red salmon. For more information, check out tilgnerssmokedfish.com.
Alaska Sprouts will be at both the South Anchorage and the Center Markets. "For the new year, we've been experimenting with some new microgreens: tatsoi, mizuna, amaranth and cress," says owner SJ Klein. Other items to look for include: bean, clover and onion sprouts; pea, daikon radish and sunflower shoots; a three-bean mixture; micro arugula, mustard and radish, along with bull's blood; and fresh tofu.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at email@example.com.