Furry children inspire ‘beastro’

Furry children inspire ‘beastro’

Karen ?Greenleaf-Smith

Gourmutt Beastro & Barkery

1252 Roosevelt Trail, Raymond

(207) 655-9073

gourmutt@maine.rr.com, or Facebook.com/GourmuttBeastroBarkery

Started the business in:

June 2012


Married; mother to two adult daughters and two furry children, Golden Retriever Lakota and Lhasa Apso Scamper-Doodle; grandmother to six.

Karen Greenleaf-Smith has always cooked for her dogs. Since she was a kid growing up in South Portland, she’s felt that her four-legged friends deserved healthier, more varied and creative nutrition than what you find in cans and bags on the store shelf.

So in June, the registered nurse officially became a “petrepreneur,” launching Gourmutt Beastro & Barkery in Raymond, where she serves up homemade dog food, dog bones and more delectable treats like decorated cookies, birthday cakes and a gift box “Yappy Meal.” As she notes, it’s her “bone-ified” passion.


What were your key needs in getting started with your business?


First, to make sure that (having) homemade, nutritious dog food and treats was an idea shared by the vast majority of pet parents and not just by me and some of my friends. When that belief became readily evident, I worked to find a retail space that was warm, large enough for a barkery and a beastro, in a convenient location and, importantly, a place where dogs would feel welcomed and encouraged to explore. Other needs have been filled by the SBA and organizations devoted to assisting women small-business owners.


What factors from your upbringing gave you the courage to venture out on your own?


A strong and loving mother who supported me unconditionally until the day she passed. I am fortunate to come from a family of strong women who have each dared to take the path less traveled, and who have learned from both their success and their absence of success. I was told by my grandmother that in my old age, my regrets would not come from things I had done in my past – my regrets would come from things that I could have done but did not attempt. I see this business as a wonderful adventure and there will be no failure for me now that I have dared to follow my passion.


What advice would you give an aspiring female entrepreneur?


Do what you are passionate about, because that joy is wordlessly communicated to your customers, drives your business decisions, and influences your corporate culture.


What’s your overall outlook on life, summed up in a sentence or two?


It is imperative to be creative, spontaneous, a good listener, an excellent friend, to share your inner joy, and to be sure that those people and furry children that you deeply love clearly know you feel that way.

Karen Greenleaf-Smith, left, Lakota, her 10-year-old golden retriever, and Stephanie Mains, her “wing woman.”

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