A Vermont man with classical French cuisine training is cooking up an energy bar that's good for people and their furry friends.
South Hero resident Mark Brooks is a dog lover and gourmet chef. Earlier this year, he combined his two passions with the launch of YaffBars. 'Yaff' is an Old English word for 'bark.'
"We created an energy bar. We wanted to make a bar that was good for people but actually safe for dogs too," Brooks said.
The bars are made with natural, organic ingredients. They retail for $2.99 and about five thousand have already hit store shelves in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. They'll be available in New York City next week.
"It just seemed like nothing like this existed. You could bring something for yourself and you could bring something for your dog but you couldn't bring something for both of you," Brooks said.
Brooks began by catering to dogs' taste, experimenting first with a biscuit. But, he says they required too many ingredients and came out quite dry. "I did that for a while and they were really unappealing," he said.
His final product comes in three flavors: Banana Peanut Butter, Honey Almond Cranberry, and Blueberry Carob.
Considering some pooches will eat their own waste, their masters are likely to be tougher sells. "I thought it was pretty good. It kind of tastes a little like a cliff bar and it's certainly better than dog food," said Burlington dog owner, Kyle Greenhaus.
"I share most of my food with the dog anyway, so if I'm going on a hike knowing it's also produced for a dog would make me feel a little better about that probably," said dog owner Adam Damon.
"It's just really, really good food, so of course the challenge is once you start eating it, do you want to share it?" Brooks said.
Brooks said he's confident after a few samples, simply unwrapping a bar will get mouthwatering responses from both pet and owner.