Nutraceutical treats bring tripled growth for Lincoln Bark
This Chicago-based company makes treats that are a complement to good nutrition, not a substitute for it
In 2010, Bobbye Cochran started Lincoln Bark in an effort to create healthy treats to entice her sick dog, Sophie, to eat again. Sophie’s diagnosis with Addison’s disease drove her to lose her appetite, along with much of her fur. After Cochran baked the first batch of (what would become) Sweet Little Butterpup dog treats and found that Sophie and the neighborhood dogs couldn’t get enough, she trademarked the recipe and has been growing the Lincoln Bark business ever since. “Our treats literally saved our pup Sophie’s life several years ago, and we’re confident that they will enhance the health of our customers’ pets, as well,” says Cochran, founder and president of Lincoln Bark.
Since its inception, Lincoln Bark has introduced four product lines of natural, human-grade pet treats. The company has grown from a three-person business to a 10-person operation, and is now selling treats internationally. The Lincoln Bark team started with Cochran; her husband, Todd Main; 14-year-old daughter, Sara Main; and taste-testing Standard Poodle, Sophie. The company gets its name from Chicago neighborhood Lincoln Park, where the family lived for many years.
In 2011, Lincoln Bark revamped its original treat recipes and introduced the superfood chia seed to its Sweet Little Butterpup and Treat Smart dog treats. The introduction of chia seeds set Lincoln Bark apart in the petfood industry, according to Cochran, because the ingredient offers antioxidants and nutraceutical benefits like having eight times more omega 3s than salmon. According to the company’s research, chia seeds…