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Dogs find French bakery tres bien

Local bakery uses French words, ambience to create a fun experience for dogs and owners
by: Jim Hart, With typical French elegance, Cindy Clunes-Noack offers healthy treats on a silver platter to a quartet of canine followers, from left, “Cleopatra,” a white boxer licking her chops; “Cesar,” a fawn boxer, hiding behind boxers’ owner Jeffrey Ervin; “Duncan,” a Wheaton Scotch Terrier, sitting patiently at the order of owner Dana Barron; and “Raindrop,” a Boston Terrier, showing enthusiasm for the tasty treats but restrained by owner Diane Gruber. This scene took place inside one of West Linn’s newest businesses: Bone-Jour Gour-Mutt Bakery and Boutique.

It took Cindy Clunes-Noack nearly 14 years as a business development specialist to realize that her real passion was for dogs, not office work.

The West Linn resident had been spoiling her dog, 'Duffy,' a wire fox terrier with treats that she would bake at home.

But soon the word got out, and her friends started asking if she would bake some for their dogs.

That's when she felt an urge to make her passion of caring for dogs into a business.

The time she had spent learning how to bake and cook at a beach resort in the summers during her college years gave her the confidence that she could produce something that many dogs would find tasty.

But to make a place that dogs and their owners would find appealing, her idea was to create an imitation of France, right here in West Linn.

That's when Bone-Jour Gour-Mutt Bakery and Boutique became more than just an idea. It became a store in West Linn's Central Village.

'We're trying to replicate a little French bakery,' Clunes-Noack said, 'with a play on words on the treats. We're offering a fun experience for dogs and their owners.'

It's no wonder that some of the offerings inside the lighted glass display cases are so tempting to the canines that walk through the door that is accented with dog-bone handles.

Just listen to some of the tasty-treat names: peach pup tarts, coco-mutt balls, Duncan's dough-mutts, Grrreat Dane-ish, lick'in liver brownies, dog house droolers, by golley collie, bark-b-q beg'in bones and K-9 carrot crunchers.

The quality of these and other treats available every day at Bone-Jour is ensured because they are made with Bob's Red Mill organic flour, using no preservatives, no corn, no soy products, no salt and no sugar. For example, carob (instead of chocolate) and yogurt (instead of sugar for frosting) are a couple of the ingredients. Clunes-Noack said that a veterinarian has approved all of the ingredients as healthy for dogs.

'The appearance of these treats is a take-off of human treats,' she said. 'They look like what you'd see in a human bakery.'

Among the amenities that dogs will find tempting is the fact that they are welcome inside the store. Plans are developing now to add birthday parties and puppy showers for dogs in the store. Also in the works for the new business is a club called 'Treat of the Month.'

Other amenities include plans for various events such as photos with the Easter bunny, doggie fashion shows and fund-raisers to benefit local charities.

'It's really fun in my store,' Clunes-Noack said. 'My products are reasonably priced, and it's a great experience for people to have with their dogs.'

The store also is a boutique, with one-of-a-kind, unusual products that enhance the relationship between a dog and his/her owner, including such products as toys, clothing and custom gift baskets.

But besides the unusual boutique items on shelves and walls inside the store, it is the bakery that most find interesting.

'Everybody tells me that this reminds them of a French bakery,' said Clunes-Noack. 'I have people who come in here who think this is a human bakery - and I have to tell them that it's only for dogs.'

All of this pampering for your pooch, even if it's not a French poodle, is available during the store's regular hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Bone-Jour Gour-Mutt Bakery and Boutique is located immediately across Hood Street from the West Linn post office, at 5656 Hood St., Suite 107. For more information, call 503-557-2328.