Pet-friendly ice cream shop helps local rescues | Business

An ice cream parlor in Tucson is just for dogs. Cones for Bones offers a wide variety of pet-friendly sweet treats while helping local shelters and rescues. The concept is the brainchild of co-owners Wendy Roberts and Virginia Roy.

“We were sitting around one night and we were talking about how cool it would be to start as a Baskin Robbins for dogs,” Roberts said. “That’s where the idea came from.”

She also wanted an effective way to help animals in need.

A puppy looks at two dog-friendly bowls of ice cream.

“I had ideas and visions to help local animal shelters like PACC (Pima Animal Care Center),” Roberts said.

Cones for Bones opened in fall 2023 and the dog ice cream bar has already started raising funds for organizations like PACC, Pathways for Paws and the Animal League of Green Valley.

“Every month we donate and we have a jar on the counter that we donate to a local rescue here in Tucson,” Roberts said.

Dog moms and dads can feel good knowing that not only are they giving their pet a delicious (and surprisingly healthy) treat, but they’re also helping another pet find a new home. After all, it’s true in the name.

“Every cone you buy helps a local dog in need,” Roberts said.

Or in other words, give them a bone.

There are many flavors for man’s best friend to choose from. Some typical options include cheddar, birthday cake, bacon, blueberry, banana, pumpkin, peanut butter, vanilla, and mango.

“It’s made just for dogs, lactose-free and sugar-free,” Roberts said. “There are a variety of flavors. We have nine flavors in the works. Every month it’s something a little different.

There is also the possibility of personalizing their scoop.

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A happy dog ​​smiles before receiving his bowl of dog-friendly ice cream.

“We have a toppings bar. We have sugar-free whipped cream that we can put on top, and we also make our own cakes and birthday cakes,” Roberts said.

Although each flavor has a furry fan, Roberts explained that a few have been particularly popular.

“Actually, there were three. It’s bacon, blueberries and peanut butter,” Roberts said.

The ice cream parlor experience doesn’t end with the ordering process. Dogs (and their owners) are welcome to stay and enjoy the atmosphere.

“They can sit at the tables, they can have a birthday party on the picnic tables out back, and every week on our website we put up a dog of the week. We highlight a dog that came in,” Roberts said.

It’s all part of Roberts and Roy’s (and their employee Lori Day’s) intention to not only be a business, but also a gathering place, especially one that uplifts their surrounding community.

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Cones for Bones also serves dog-friendly cookies and cakes.

“There is also a dog training center right next to us. There is a dog groomer a few doors from our house. Then you have Salty Dawg, which is a bar restaurant and they allow pets on the patio,” Roberts said. “So we sell beer and wine for dogs. Lots of people will come get a beer or a drink for their dog and go sit on the patio at Salty Dawg.

Roberts explained that beer, for example, is flavored with beef. None of the offerings contain alcohol.

“Our No. 1 seller is Bowser, and it actually has glucosamine for dogs with bad hips,” Roberts said. Glucosamine is a natural compound found in cartilage.

Finally, Cones for Bones also raises funds for PACC with the Dogs of Tucson “Wall of Fame.”

“For $20, we will display your dog’s photo in a frame, put it on our wall and half of the proceeds will be donated to PACC,” Roberts said.

The other half goes towards printing the photo and purchasing the frame.

“We (also) have a donation bin for canned food, unopened food bags, used halters, blankets, towels, anything that can help our local rescues,” Roberts said.

Whether or not customers can donate additional supplies, Roberts encourages Tucson dogs and their families to come enjoy a frozen treat.

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A birthday dog ​​celebrates his special day.

“There aren’t many places you can take your dog to provide dog-safe ice cream and a fun environment,” Roberts said.

She said she’s even seen people come to Cones and Bones for a dog date.

“I had a guy and a girl come in. They each had their dog and they were on their first date,” Roberts said. “Each dog had ice cream and they sat there for about an hour…and talked and I thought it was just the most interesting thing.”

Ultimately, that’s the kind of welcoming environment Cones for Bones strives to be: a place where dog lovers can come together, care for their four-legged friends, and help those in need. Roberts explained that it’s a win-win arrangement.

“Everyone is going to benefit, everyone is going to benefit all the dogs, all the businesses,” Roberts said. “So that’s our goal, to help everyone.”

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