PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The charcuterie board trend, between social media and the pandemic-related “pop-up picnics” craze here in the Tampa Bay area, is reaching a new height. One new local business owner is taking the trend a step farther for our four-legged friends.
Abby Harr is the owner of “Pupnic Baskets,” operating in Pinellas County. She works her “side hustle” alongside maintaining a full-time, work-from-home job.
Harr enjoys making charcuterie for herself. She adopted her dog, Annie, during the height of the pandemic in April 2020, fostering her for about a month before making things official. As it turns out, Annie is also a fan of charcuterie snacks, like her mom.
“She’d sit there and look at me with her little puppy dog eyes, and I was like, ‘well some of this stuff you can’t eat!’ So I started making her, her own little plates and everything, you know, I’m a dog mom,” Harr said of her charcuterie.
Harr began posting pictures of Annie’s plates on her own social media, and others wondered if she was selling.
She said she didn’t become serious about the venture until a business event for women in Dunedin she attended.
“It actually wasn’t until this past spring, there was [an] International Women’s Day event… in downtown Dunedin. They had a big market, it was all women-owned businesses and everything,” she said.
Pupnic Baskets, as a small business, started taking orders via Instagram in April 2021.
Harr doesn’t make the treats for dogs herself in the baskets, but gets them from local treat-makers. She puts the boxes together and does pick-ups and drop-offs for orders, in addition to selling her wares at local markets.
All boxes contain dog food, treats, fruit and veggies. Harr’s online order form asks questions, like whether a dog has allergies and what fruit or vegetables deemed “good” for dogs someone’s pet might like best.
While charcuterie boxes, both small and large, for $20 and $30 respectively, are still on sale throughout the year, Harr is also going to be stepping up her game for the holiday season as well.
“One thing I know for sure, I’m going to do like big, holiday gift baskets. So you’ll get your own reusable wicker picnic-type baskets. I’m going to include toys, treats. I have some business cards and coupons from local doggy-friendly business cards in there,” she explained.
A charcuterie box itself won’t be featured in the holiday basket, but there will be a coupon included to order one later. Harr said she will also include everyone who buys a holiday basket in a raffle to win a free Pupnic Basket.
Moving forward, Harr wants to expand more into the business, but she’s sticking with those on four legs and getting more in to “puppy parties.” She’d like to capitalize on the “pop-up picnic” craze here in the Tampa Bay area.
“I’d definitely like to work with one of those and have a ‘picnic with your puppy’ kind of thing. And I have a good friend, she’s going to be having me do her dog’s ‘gotcha day’ party in December. So we’re gonna do like a whole big puppy charcuterie layout,” she said. “It’s going to be at her apartment dog park, she’s going to invite all the dogs and everything and we’re gonna have goodie bags and decorations and kind of like, for your kid’s birthday party, but for your doggo.”