Bark & Purr celebrates three years in business

Published on: May 5, 2021

Like many businesses Bark & Purr has weathered some tough times during the past few years, but the store survived and made it to its 3rd-year anniversary in April. Owner Jill Scott credits her customers, the in-house bakery and high quality selection of pet foods for the shop’s success.

Bark & Purr celebrates three years in business
In-house bakery a customer favorite


Not long ago, Bark & Purr owner Jill Scott thought she might have to close the doors of her beloved pet shop in Apollo Beach.

But thanks to community support, her frugality and perseverance, the store has survived the closing of Winn Dixie six months after it opened, an ongoing pandemic and the current construction project that has disturbed traffic flow and torn up parking areas within the Waterside Shops of Apollo Beach plaza.

“My customers appreciate the high-quality, healthy items I offer in my in-store bakery and my inventory of only the best pet foods in the industry,” Scott said. “I put myself through an intensive, canine nutrition course and take recommendations I give to people quite seriously.

“It also helps that Jessica, my store manager, is a certified veterinary tech,” she continued. “Between the two of us, we have our pets and their owners covered.”

Scott’s bakery opened on day one and has grown exponentially over the years. “Everything I make is popular, especially the birthday cakes, birthday bones, whoopie pies and pupcakes,” she said. “I use only human-grade ingredients, no sugar and things like rice flour, eggs, baking powder and baking soda. Flavors include peanut butter, banana, pumpkin spice and red velvet (beets). “The banana cake I always taste,” she said. “It’s that good!”

Her frosting is made with tapioca starch and Greek yogurt.

Jill Scott, owner of Bark & Purr, shows off one of her fresh-baked, custom-decorated cakes she makes for dogs on their special day. They come in three sizes – small, medium and large, and they can be bone-shaped, heart-shaped or round. Prices range from $20 to $30.

Cakes come in three sizes – small, medium and large, and they can be bone-shaped, heart-shaped or round. They’re all custom decorated and, usually, made the day before pickup. Prices range from $20 to $30.

Then there are the fresh-baked treats Scott sells for $1 per ounce. She, Jessica and a part-timer named Vickie bake 75 percent of them on site, and for the remainder she employs a trusted bakery that uses her recipes.

Her furry clients have a wide selection of tiny, low-fat bacon bones, cheesy bacon bites, cherry nuggets, peanut butter and banana buddies, low-fat apple hearts and peanut butter, red velvet and bacon breakfast bones. And that’s not counting the fancy stuff in the case, like liver-cheese biscotti.

Bark & Purr features only top-rated dry, wet or raw pet foods from brands like Fromm’s, Stella & Chewy, Zignature, Essence, Answers and Primal.

“We’ve honed our offerings to the brands we trust and that dogs like,” Scott said.

Additionally, the store features a wide array of toys for both dogs and cats; assorted chews (no rawhide); accessories for both dogs and cats; a new spring line of clothing; cat foods; treats and supplies; supplements, grooming and healthcare products, including CBD; pet-themed T-shirts for humans; greeting cards; gifts and more. It even has puppy and kitten products for new arrivals.

“This shop is my happily ever after,” Scott said. “I hope to do this until I drop!”

Bark and Purr Persnickety Pet Emporium, 6138 U.S. 41 N, Apollo Beach, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 813-773-7553.

Bark & Purr store manager Jessica Glenn, left, her German shepherd Creeper and owner Jill Scott are happily celebrating the third-year anniversary of the pet emporium in Apollo Beach. They are shown here standing behind the shop’s service counter.

These pupcakes are made in-house at Bark & Purr by Jessica Glenn, Jill Scott and Vickie Bryant, using the same recipe as custom birthday cakes.

These specialty dog treats at Bark & Purr are featured at the checkout counter and look good enough for owners to eat.

These birthday bones are made for Bark & Purr by a trusted source of owner Jill Scott. One of the store’s most popular items, they’re made using the same high-quality recipe as everything else sold in the bakery.

Bark & Purr customers find all kinds of fresh-baked treats in Buddy’s Bakery at the Apollo Beach store. Store owner Jill Scott says the bakery has been a hit since she opened her pet emporium three years ago.

Pet-themed gift cards are a hot item at Bark & Purr. The store also carries gift items.

This case, filled with specialty dog treats, is hard for owners to pass up when shopping for their furry friends at Bark & Purr.

Shown here are more of the tough dog toys at Bark & Purr for canines who normally tear up their stuff within minutes.

Bark and Purr offers an array of health and grooming product and supplements, including human-grade CBD.