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Houston’s Dogs Get Their Own Food Truck

Pawz Treat Truck targets canines at dog parks and other places.

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Biff Picone and his wife Nadine Joli-Coeur
Biff Picone and his wife Nadine Joli-Coeur with the Natural Pawz Treat Truck. Their dog Callie (left), inspired the beginnings of Natural Pawz [Photo by Chris Cantu]

Actually, it’s not a food truck — it’s a treat truck.

“It really is made like a food truck, but it’s made 100 percent for dogs only,” said Biff Picone, co-owner of Natural Pawz, a natural pet supply store with 12 locations throughout the Houston area.

He said he realized there was a demand for mobile doggie treats by talking to dog owners at pet events and dog parks.

“We heard back time and time again, you know, it really would be nice if there was something at dog parks for dogs in the hot time of the summer and other times for them,” he said. “I mean there (are) food trucks that are very prevalent. They’re in Houston and growing, big trend right now. But there’s really nothing for dogs.”

The Pawz Treat Truck had its debut at a Houston Humane Society event last month.

Some of the treats offered include peanut butter ice cream, minus the sugars and preservatives.

“We’ve tested this out in the last couple events and people really and dogs really love it,” Picone said. “So it’s going to be that for the hot days of summer. The ice cream is going to be a great thing for them. We’re also going to sell cookies and chews and tennis balls, you know, things that you would want at the dog park or things that you want to give your dog for the ride home from the dog park.”

Treats from the truck will be in line with the concept of the Natural Pawz stores, which only sell natural products.

Picone said he makes sure he knows where the ingredients in a product come from before he includes it in his inventory.

“So, it’s important for us to meet with the nutritionists. As a matter of fact, most of the food companies that we carry, we have actually visited their manufacturing plants and reviewed their process,” he said. “So we put a lot of time and effort into what we sell. I would not sell anything in our store because I can make more money or that I wouldn’t feed to my own dogs.”

After testing the waters at some Houston area events, most recently at the Katy Summerfest on Saturday, the plan is to have the treat truck visit various dog parks and other events where people with dogs go.

“I can envision us doing things like some farmers markets,” Picone said. “We could do Memorial Park — some of the things that are happening there. Even the food truck parks have been open to having the treat truck as part of the place where they bring all the food trucks together.”

For now, you can catch the Pawz Treat Truck in Fulshear in northwest Fort Bend County next. It will be there for that city’s second annual Art Walk on April 26th.

 

Intern Chris Cantu conducted the interview for this story.

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