Matilda’s Dog Bakery & Boutique Experiences Huge Influx of Customers Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

With Pet Adoption Rates on the Rise, Joanne Elliott Says She's Working Around the Clock to Keep Customers Stocked on Pet Food, Treats, and Toys

DULUTH, Minn. – Throughout the pandemic, countless local businesses have been dealt with many struggles, however, for one small business owner, sales are soaring as Northlanders are adopting and spending more time with their four-legged furry friends.

“It’s all about the pets this year. It’s all about puppies, kittens, adoptions; we’ve sold more kitten food in the last three months than we have in the last ten years,” said Joanne Elliott, owner of Matilda’s Dog Bakery and Boutique.

Business is uncontrollably barking at the dog bakery located in the Lakeside neighborhood of Duluth.

“People are just going crazy with their pet which is so awesome,” said Elliott.

Elliott says she can barely keep up with her baking routine as customers come in with their four-legged family members.

“Initially, everybody panicked and we were just swamped,” said Elliott.

Earlier this year, pandemic panic prompted a mad dash for food, treats, and toys.

Since then, things have leveled off, but Elliott is seeing many new puppies come through the door.

“My rep comes in throwing these up in the air and catching them in his mouth. The bark pops are like a doggy Cheetos Puff.”

Nationally, numbers show pet adoption rates have skyrocketed in 2020.

Elliott is excited to help new customers learn the basics while providing natural nutrition.

“I really do a lot of research before I bring a new line in, and so, I have a couple of small distributors and they do the same thing,” said Elliott.

Her 1,200 square feet of space is fully stocked with supplies sourced from other small businesses across the Midwest.

“Our Vital Essentials freeze-dried treats are from Green Bay, it’s all freeze-dried raw. We try to do regionally as much as possible,” said Elliott.

As the holidays paw closer, Elliott and her small team are busy baking, ordering, and preparing to make sure your pets are treated with treats made locally during a time when shopping small means so much.

The top three dog treat flavors at Matilda’s include peanut butter, mac n cheese, and pot pie biscuits.

The store is located at 4521 East Superior Street in Duluth.

They’re open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Saturday.

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