Mom & Pup: Healthful Pet Food Store Opens in Downtown Boise 

click to enlarge Brian Curry (left) and Katie Berger (right) hold the house pups at Molly's Healthy Pet Food Market.

Harrison Berry

Brian Curry (left) and Katie Berger (right) hold the house pups at Molly's Healthy Pet Food Market.

The freeze-dried duck heads are $3.99 each. A bag of 20 goes for $66.99. Not far away are large bags of dog food, exotic raw meats in a refrigerator, leashes and collars, and donut and cannoli pet snacks. At Molly's Healthy Pet Food Market, the strange shares a shelf with pet essentials—but the emphasis is always on quality.

"We're very picky about the types of food we bring in," said co-owner Katie Berger.

For the record, the duck heads are safe for dogs to chew: Because they're freeze-dried, the bones don't become brittle the way they do when they're cooked, and aren't a choking hazard. In the cold case, there are hunks of chicken, rabbit, venison and other raw meats, and the small downtown pet supply store is working on an arrangement with Carey, Idaho-based Idahound to supply more.

click to enlarge - Freeze-dried duck heads are a nutritious treat for pups. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Freeze-dried duck heads are a nutritious treat for pups.
Berger and fellow Co-owner Brian Curry stressed that the dog foods they sell are high in proteins and fats, and low in carbohydrates—ideal for their carnivorous clients—and what kibble they do have in stock has a lot of the nutrients dogs and cats need with as little as possible of what they don't, like grains. A bag of food may cost more than mass-market kibble, they said, but their customers may end up saving money on vet bills and, because of its higher nutritional density, even food itself.

"Six ounces of steak has more of what you need than 6 ounces of potato chips," said Berger, making a comparison.

She got into the business 15 years ago in Southern California, starting at her first job on the day a beloved pet died. She later determined that much of her dog's suffering could have been side-stepped with a better diet. Idaho popped onto her radar when her father hoped to retire here. Now, she has a pet food store guarded by two not-so-ferocious dogs: Sophie, and her mother and the shop's namesake, Molly.

The shop has been open since Dec. 6, and Berger and Curry are already reaching out to other local businesses about partnering on pet-friendly events, like "yappy hours" featuring cat and dog "wine" and "champagne" tastings to go along with adult (human) beverages.
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