I get to explore a lot in my new position; it's a great crash course in Southwest Michigan life! Last Tuesday, I went to FuzzyButz in downtown St. Joseph. I was curious about what a pet bakery operation looked like, so I took advantage of the mid-60's day and walked over.
The brick storefront was brightly lit, and the kitchen was a swirl of activity. I saw peanut butter, blueberries, sprinkles, oats...honestly, just like a "human" bakery! On Tuesday, Mary was baking with Maggie and Sherry. Maggie was rolling out blueberry crisp treats, brown with flecks of real blueberries. Sherry was dipping some bone-shaped treats into a yogurt topping that looked deceptively like frosting.
Mary and Rick Schaut own FuzzyButz, and you'll see Mary there most days. She's a hands-on owner, manning the register, talking to customers, and baking. With her corporate days behind her, Mary focuses on the storefront. They've forgone a previous wholesale business to support the community in St. Joseph year-round. FuzzyButz's storefront was originally at 613 Broad St, but moved to their current 306 State St. store about 6 years ago. In the move, they nearly tripled their size, and filled it with more baked goods and pet swag. FuzzyButz has been in operation for 12 years, so it has it's regulars.
This is FuzzyButz's regular. He visits every day, and you can tell by the time the door opens that he has a routine and expectations for his visit. Owen heads straight for the kitchen, swining through the doors with confidence. Maggie, Sherry and Mary greet him enthusiastically, but Owen is more interested in the cod skins from Boston on the counter. He travels around the store, clearly enjoying the attention from the ladies as well as the treats at dog level.
FuzzyButz is a year-round anchor on State St, sponsoring the annual "Reindog" Parade. They participate in every event possible, from Trick-or-Treating to hosting Greenbush for the Chili Tour. FuzzyButz opens early and stays open late; it's wel worth the visit. Pet friendly, of course!