Ilford Business: Chigwell entrepreneur Suzy Flower on why she’s quitting her job to run parties for dogs

Suzy with her springer spaniel Wiggins

Suzy with her springer spaniel Wiggins - Credit: Archant

Beef-flavoured cakes may not sound like a gap in the market – but Suzy Flower’s customers beg to differ.

Bailey the boxer with Wiggins

Bailey the boxer with Wiggins - Credit: Archant

Chigwell entrepreneur Suzy is the proud owner of Poochie Parties, a firm whose mission statement is to provide good food, good times and great company – for dogs.

Bailey and Wiggins prepare to tuck in

Bailey and Wiggins prepare to tuck in - Credit: Archant

Suzy, 44, currently works for Essex County Council by day – but she’s planning to give that up in October and focus on the company full time.

Suzy's springer spaniel Wiggins

Suzy's springer spaniel Wiggins - Credit: Archant

“I’ve had quite a few bookings,” she said. “I’ve done about five or six parties so far – the first was in March.

“The parties are in a controlled room and we provide doggy cake, doggy bags with treats and a toy.

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“We lay out a table for the dogs with blue bowls for boys and pink ones for girls, and the dogs have lots of nice treats, while the owners have canapés and champagne.”

Suzy’s partner, professional chef Peter, handles the human food, while Suzy is a dab hand when it comes to canine catering.

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You wouldn’t want a slice of dog cake with your cuppa – for starters, it tastes of meat – but the dogs love it.

“When you put the cake down the dogs want to take a big bite, but my friend Janie is a dog behaviourist and we get them to sit down and wait,” she explained.

“It takes 20 minutes to make – and a few seconds for them to eat.”

The cake is made by soaking and reshaping Bonio biscuits before oven baking them into shape, then adding special dog icing and piping words like “woof woof” on top.

Humans are invited to enjoy themselves too – one couple even got engaged at a recent event near Saffron Walden – but the mood is laid back because the dogs don’t like loud noises.

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