We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikita Hemani and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nikita, what do you attribute your success to?
One of our key success factors since inception has been customer service. We try to go above and beyond to make sure that our customers (and their pups) feel special about getting treats from us. We listen to our customers and use that feedback to make better decisions about our service and improve customer experience. We honor hassle-free returns or refunds in case of a rare chance that customers are not satisfied with our product A close second would be our ability to customize our products. We convert our customers’ vision into delicious treats. For example, a champagne company reached out to create champagne bottled shaped cookies for its customer’s pups. We have worked with hotels such as W Hotel Dallas to bake ‘pupcakes’ with their logo for their furry residents.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Simba’s Barkery is not just another dog treat company. Our business model revolves around puppy celebrations. Whether its a dog’s birthday, gotcha day, graduation, or any other occasion, Simba’s BARKery provides the treats to make that celebration complete. We source all our ingredients from local markets and use what is in season. We offer everything from a cake to DIY party packages and our #DogBar. There are several dog owners in Dallas but we have noticed that there is a gap in dog-friendly events and gatherings. Hence, we came up with our #DogBar. The #DogBar is our pop-up store that serves up delicious dog delicacies. Customers can hire us to set-up our #DogBar for yappy hours, birthday parties, or any other dog-friendly events. We have bark-tenders that serve up treats prepared onsite like Pawberry Sundaes and Dog Beer Floats. We are partnering with bars, restaurants, and other venues to bring unique experiences to dog owners in the DFW area like wine and cheese tastings for both humans and pups! So far, our careers have been in the corporate world. We have been a small part of the puzzle but when you own your own business, it’s a different story. You are starting the business ground up and you are involved in all aspects of it from marketing, production, finance, etc. And in addition to all the back-end processes to make the business work, you have to build your brand and sell your product. You have to engage your customers. We knew to start a business was not easy, and the learning curve has been more challenging than we expected. But we are learning a lot on the way and it has been a rewarding journey so far.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are several good spots to visit in Dallas. I am a big foodie and most of my itinerary would be planned around places to eat. I would start the day with a walk Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano, TX. They have beautiful trails, especially around Fall. It is a good spot to catch up with a friend while enjoying nature. Next, it’s time for brunch! My preference is Henry’s Majestic on McKinney Avenue. They have an extensive brunch menu and I would definitely recommend the PB+J waffles. But my favorite part of this brunch is their Sparkle Bar. If the weather is nice, Henry’s Majestic has a dog-friendly patio. After filling up our bellies, we would head down to Bishop Arts District. I love walking around the area and checking out some of the local boutiques and stores for a bit of shopping. Maybe even stop by Emporium Pies for a slice of delicious goodness. The evening would start with some dinner at Uchi. It’s got some amazing food and a full vegetarian menu for all the vegetarians out there like me. Dinner would be followed by drinks at Bowen House. I would end the night with some tacos from Velvet Taco. While the line might be long, it is worth the wait. Some of my other favorite places to take a friend visiting Dallas include Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Farmers Market, Lakewood Brewing, Lost Oak Winery, and the Deep Ellum neighborhood.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Simba’s Barkery is truly a family business and we couldn’t have done it without our family. When we started it was all-hands-on-deck and everyone pitched in to help us out. Whether that was making a customer delivery or helping with last-minute packaging, they were ready to help wherever needed. However, is there is one person who deserves a little extra credit and that is my husband, Saurabh. Saurabh has supported me since the day I came up with the idea of starting a dog bakery and through to starting and running the business. He has not only provided me with love and support but also been my partner in growing this business. I truly could not have done this without him on my side.