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Carter serves a “ruff cake” to a furry customer
TWIN EYES PHOTOGRAPHY
A new dog treat company in Brooklyn Park is popular with dogs and owners alike.
Owner Reggie Carter, who lives in Brooklyn Park, co-founded Must Be Ruff earlier this year Help from his wife and children – his mission was simple: to provide home-made, inexpensive, high-quality treats to dogs in Minnesota.
Carter discovered his love for dogs in his hometown of Pearl, Mississippi. He grew up on a cattle ranch where he was surrounded by tons of animals. “Cows, pigs, horses, goats, and dogs,” Carter tells me on the phone. “The dogs were good, good and healthy. They never got sick and lived practically forever. “
This childhood experience with animals was instrumental in Carter’s creation of Must Be Ruff. In the time since he moved to Minnesota and raised a family, he also got a Rottweiler named Kirby. When his family adopted Kirby, Carter began researching how to keep Kirby as healthy and happy as his childhood farm dogs.
“I realized that it was their diet and diet that mattered,” says Carter. “These dogs ate everything we ate in the house. I’ve noticed certain health problems with certain foods, so my wife and I decided to prepare the food so we know what he’s eating. ”
Carter worked as a snow plow driver – a job he describes as the exact opposite of his Mississippi roots. But after he started making kirby food with human quality ingredientshe started selling to a couple of neighbors. Must Be Ruff was soon born. With ingredients like peanut butter, carrots, and whole wheat flour, some of the goodies look like regular bone-shaped cookies while others are similar to cupcakes and donuts.
Carter credits his success so far to the support he’s received not only from dog owners, but also from local businesses and groups like the Brooklyn Park Farmers’ Market. Must Be Ruff also travels to events in the Twin Cities.
“I like to be local,” says Carter. “Minnesota is my home, so the personal connection with customers – knowing and remembering the people – is a good feeling.”
While balancing business responsibilities is a new experience for Carter, once the treats are baked, the schedule is set, and the tent is up, the fun begins. “Walking the tent is a good feeling. To see how excited the dogs and their owners are, that’s something I didn’t expect, ”he says.
Carter doesn’t take all the credit, however. The support from his wife and two sons has been of great help. Carter says his wife attended business school and is helping him with every aspect of Must Be Ruff. His sons keep an eye on Kirby and accompany him to events in the tent. Between all of that and the support from the community, Carter is having a lot of fun building his business.
Most Wednesdays, Carter works in a tent in the Brooklyn Park Farmers Market. He also has guest appearances at special events that are advertised on his Facebook Side and Instagram Account, and he also sells his goodies in some local breweries – such as 56 brows, Able Seedhouse and Brows, and Bent brewery.