How We Got Our Start
Las Vegas. As we sat back and enjoyed ourselves, we began brainstorming about one of life’s great mysteries – dog breath. (You see, we both had dogs with the same problem – imagine that!) The conversation soon turned to our job dissatisfaction and the fact that we weren’t getting any younger. (We were 30).
By the time the plane landed, we had a product idea, a business plan mapped out on a cocktail napkin and we were ready to quit our jobs to go into business with each other. Unlike most people who do a lot of dreaming, yet rarely follow through with their plans, we were quite serious. We both have type A+ personalities and families who usually put up with our seemingly whacko ideas.
When we returned home, we hired a chemist and worked for five months on a breath mint formula that dogs would eat. Then we took the financial plunge against everyone’s best judgment. Not long after our product launched, Mouthfuls was copied by another large company. Undeterred, we felt flattered and went on to design even more products.
Like most small businesses, we toiled in our garages the first few years and then took the plunge and bought our own warehouse. We know what it means to work hard on a business that we feel passionate about and we loved every minute of it.
In 2005 we expanded the business once again. We opened our flagship pet supply boutique in Denver, featuring our products. We also brought in lots of wonderful foods, treats, toys, etc. from companies that we’d gotten to know over the years. It took less than a year for us to be named “Denver’s Best Pet Boutique” by the editors of Denver’s 5280 Magazine and we received that award year after year for years! We’ve also won Westword’s Best Pet Store and the coveted award of Best Pet Store from the Highland’s Mommies.
Mouthfuls is very locally minded and carries more products from Colorado companies than any other pet supply store in the state. We specialize in nutrition and joke that we’re Denver’s diarrhea specialists. We’re also a community gathering space with a patio behind the store where neighbors gather to socialize with their dogs. Need a vet, a dog walker, non-anesthetic teeth cleaning? We’ve got it and we’ll gladly share it with you!
We sincerely appreciate your support and wish you and your pets health and happiness!
Our vision is simple.
At Mouthfuls, we believe that all dogs and cats deserve to be happy, healthy and loved. While pets are the cornerstone of our business, our two-legged customers are paramount to our success. We certainly sell all the necessities and frivolities for your pets but we are also Berkeley’s original community resource and gathering space for pet lovers. Simply put, we offer extraordinary service, valuable knowledge and are invitingly priced.
Awards & Accolades
We’re blushing. It took us less than a year after we opened to win our first award and they just keep coming. Although, we have to admit, our favorite award is seeing your face walk into our store time after time!
5280 Top of the Town (multiple year winner)
2008 – Editor’s Choice – “For the second time in three years, this Berkeley neighborhood pet shop has garnered high praise from our readers. And we know why: the store is full of its own delightful products Doggone Fresh Breath Mints for dogs), as well as a variety of other pet paraphernalia. We like the treat tasting bar (think candy store for animals), the loaded bakery case, and the Barker’s Dozen Food program, which gives you a free bag of food for every 12 you purchase”.
2009 – Reader’s Choice – “In the bowwow business for almost 10 years, Mouthfuls’ menu of decadent treats—doggie pizza slices, canine caviar, and peanut butter cookies—could make a human salivate. What’s more, the boutique is well-stocked in fashionable and weather-conscious threads by Ruffwear for every puppy’s personality. Next time you stop by, bring Fifi along—the shop welcomes canine visitors with open arms and goodies to boot”.
2009 – “Deb Dempsey and Tonya Payne have created a place where the eats are all natural, unprocessed and delish. New restaurant, you might ask? Not exactly: Mouthfuls is where Berkeley Park denizens and their pets try out a smorgasbord of doggie munchies, from hand-baked cookies and scrumptious training treats to bags of chow from makers like California Natural, Candidae and Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen Diets. Canine or feline, pets all inhale the store’s exclusive dehydrated chicken chunks, and the toy selection would fill many a doghouse with hours of indestructible fun.”
2010 – Reader’s Choice – “Everyone agrees about this Top of the Town regular: It kicks tail when it comes to keeping your four-legged friends well fed, groomed, and entertained at all times. The happily cluttered Berkeley shop manages to provide all the extras your pooch could ever want—sweet embroidered collars, super-luxe beds, slow-roasted ostrich bones for gnawing—while still maintaining a down-to-earth vibe that lets you shop for Buster without feeling like an overindulgent parent.”
2011 – Reader’s Choice – “Our readers flock to this shop for its adorable merchandise, all-natural food, and owners with a refreshing attention to their pets’ well-being.”
2016 – Editor’s Choice – “When our puppy chewed through (yet another) harness, we called Mouthfuls. The sales associate immediately offered to order a new one and have it delivered to the store in less than a week. (They’ll deliver straight to you if you live within a two-mile radius of the Berkeley store.) It’s this level of customer service that sets the longtime business apart, along with the vast selection of high-quality products, including Smart Cookie Bakery treats from Denver, the Honest Kitchen food, and Ruffwear toys, that fill the pleasantly crowded shop. More important, the employees are experts in everything from how to choose the right food to teeth cleaning (the shop offers anesthesia-free cleanings by certified techs every six weeks). And if you—or Fido—aren’t satisfied, no-receipt-needed returns are easy.”
2016 – Best Buffet for Four-Legged Gourmets – “Just up the street from the home base of Animal Planet’s Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet is one of the city’s best-stocked boutiques for pampered pets. At Mouthfuls, one of the main attractions is the signature “bone bar” that allows Chumley (or Rufus or Bella) to sample and approve exotic treats — cheese-and-liver stars, dinner-mint bones, you name it — before their owners shovel heftier portions into bags for purchase. You can also order mix-and-match samplers from a virtual bone bar online. Your canine companion may be leading a dog’s life, but that doesn’t mean it has to be ruff.”
National Geographic’s award for “one of the most pet friendly establishments in America!”
“Mouthfuls, in the trendy Berkeley neighborhood, not only carries its own products like Doggone Fresh Breath Mints for dogs, but specializes in nutritious and safe foods for dogs and cats, and is known for its treat-tasting bone bar and bakery case full of homemade goodies.”
Highland Mommies Best Pet Store
Mouthfuls is a pet store that strongly believes in giving back to our community. Obviously, the pet community is near and dear to our hearts but we also regularly donate to all kinds of other organizations because our community isn’t just made up of dogs and cats! We’re happy to put our money where our mouth is and donate to just about anyone who comes in and asks. While we’ve never really wanted to blow our own horn on this, we finally decided that perhaps it’s time for all of you to know just what we’re capable of doing because of your support!
This year’s donations in no particular order….
Happiness Through Horses & The Leg Up Foundation
The Center (Advancing LGBT Colorado)
and on, and on, and on…..