Your dog deserves a treat from Lindy & Company
By Tom Baker
Photo: Lindy’s Sampler and the latest favorite, PB & Bacon Bones
I’m a big fan of social enterprise, the business model that uses conventional methods as a means to a socially beneficial end. Businesses like celebrity chef Jaime Oliver’s Fifteen – a culinary apprenticeship program designed to get unemployed young people looking for a “fresh start in life” back on track – put people, communities and society before profit. Sometimes, as is the case for Lindy & Company located on Wayne Avenue in the South Park neighborhood of Dayton, both young people and our pets reap the benefits.
Lindy & Company isn’t just a boutique dog treat shop (as I first assumed driving by soon after their October 2012 opening), but rather a social enterprise business model that is a part of Daybreak, an organization providing Dayton’s runaway and homeless youth critical resources. Lindy & Company takes one of Daybreak’s services – job assessment and placement services – and expands it by placing these young adults into an actual employment environment so that they can build skills that might help them to find work in the future. At the beginning, a partnership with Ashley’s Pastry Shop in Oakwood provided the know-how and support needed to get things off the ground, and once their facility was ready and the staff trained they were on their way. Offering a variety of dog treats (and now cat treats as well), Daybreak youth bake, package, ship and sell all of the treats. Retail outlets and other businesses also provide support for or carry Lindy & Company’s treats, including Dorothy Lane Market, Dot’s Market, Poochie Bath in Kettering, Sunshine Kennels and Brandeberry Winery, so you’re likely to be near some delectable dog delicacies and their supporters even if you’re not downtown.
Walking into the impeccably clean all-in-one bakery and sales floor, the bright orange of the room reflects the energy of the people behind these great treats. Along with three young workers busy preparing the next batches of treats, the enthusiastic salesperson filled me in on favorites, made some great recommendations and also let me know that Lindy & Company is working on spreading the word at trade shows and festivals in order to make sure that the Daybreak youth stay busy and on track towards their long-term employment goals. Even better, I had the pleasure of speaking with the director of Lindy & Company, Maggie Shergill. She filled me in on some of the key details regarding Dayton’s newest social enterprise and gourmet pet treat bakery, both in regards to the treats and to the enterprise overall.
“The idea for Lindy & Company began in the summer of 2011, the idea of creating a social enterprise that would support youth in building vocational, relational and problem solving skills,” Shergill began. “By providing a safe, supportive and nurturing environment, ‘employees’ of Lindy & Company’s work-readiness program build the skills they need to secure steady and successful employment that will lead to long term self-sufficiency.” When asked how business has been since their opening in late 2012, her response was inspiring, especially as it relates to the type of business they’ve created for Daybreak: “We are nearly at our capacity with the current amount of youth in the bakery, which is wonderful! So, we plan on increasing the number of homeless youth that will participate in the work training program as we continue to grow. However, our primary goal is to assist youth in building employability skills and becoming self-sufficient, sales and volume are secondary to meeting the needs of the homeless youth we serve.”
All of this said, I am writing about a dog treat shop, so let’s not forget about the other good stuff Lindy & Company is doing. Shergill pointed out that the favorites lately have been the Yogurt Peanutty Puppers, a rectangular treat with a bit of piped yogurt topping, the Better Butter Honey and the PB & Bacon Bones – you know what they say – “two great tastes…” Other flavors include the Carob Chip Cookies (mini not-chocolate chip cookies), Cinna-bone Rolls (mini cinnamon rolls), and Peanut Butter But Better (mini peanut butter cookies).While my dog was undoubtedly ecstatic when I came home carrying the dog paw-patterned plastic bag full of treats – a sampler of 7 flavors is $5 and a package of a single flavor is $4.25 – I’d have to say that his favorites thus far have been the Applesauce and Cheese, Please! and the PB & Bacon Bones. I mean, c’mon, how can you really go wrong with that one? Made with whole wheat flour, peanut butter, bacon, egg, beef broth and garlic powder, to say they’re suitable for human consumption is an understatement – I’m told some people like them, too. My prediction is that this becomes their signature flavor going forward.
It seems that Lindy’s is the total package – they’ve come up with creative and tasty treats for our furry companions – both dog and cat – and they’re doing really good stuff for the community. With an ambitious goal of doubling the number of youth in the program as sales continue to grow, it sounds like Daybreak’s youth as well as our best canine and feline friends are going to be benefitting from another year of Lindy & Company’s successful social enterprise.
Lindy & Company is located at 823 Wayne Ave. For more information, call 937.3954612 or visit lindyandcompany.org.
Reach DCP food critic Tom Baker at TomBaker@DaytonCityPaper.com.