Woodland Park teen turns entrepreneur by making dog treats

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WOODLAND PARK, Colo. — A Woodland Park teenager’s passion for pooches has turned into a full-blown business. She creates canine cuisine and wants to pay it forward to veterans.

What started out as a quarantine hobby quickly turned into a business for 13-year-old Ericka Nichols. She found the recipe online but she tweaked it to her liking.

“When COVID hit, I need extra money and I’m not able to work until I’m 15 so might as well start working on my own business,” Nichols said.

The goal at first was to pay her way to Disney World, but now she’s trying to keep up with demand. Each batch makes 20-30 treats and she typically has to make 10 batches at a time.

“I made my first batch and they sold out, so I made another batch and they sold out again,” Nichols added. “I made another batch with 50 bags and someone bought all 50 and it was only my fourth or fifth batch.”

It’s a labor of love she gets to share with not only dogs but her grandmother and mom.

“Hey, I have stuff to do with my grandma its not like we are just sitting around talking, we are actually doing things,” Nichols explained. “I make it a little sticky, like the perfect consistency where she can put some oats on it and make it look really homemade.”

On Friday, she gave 20 bags of homemade treats to veterans to say ‘thank you for their service to our country,’ and to keep their dog tails wagging.

“The veterans did so much for us that they deserve, they don’t deserve to be homeless,” Nichols explained. “The ones that I am giving to are homeless. They need food, water, and especially with their dogs because I feel bad some people are homeless with dogs. Animals cost money.”

Her Busten N’ Bones is the ultimate treat for man’s best friend. The $5 bags come with 10 treats. Nichols sells them at Brazzen Head, a vintage market in Woodland Park as well as the Historic Ute Inn and Thai Good Eats.

Some people have enjoyed the treats themselves on long hikes. They have no preservatives, so they must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. To order some treats from Nichols click here or email Jessica Nichols at jessica.nichols75@gmail.com.

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