Simba! We all know him as the hero of Disney’s iconic film, “The Lion King.” But another Simba will soon become the hero at The Shops at Willow Bend. Because Simba the labrador is the official taster and mascot of Simba’s Barkery, the winner of the 2018 Battle of the Pop-Up at The Shops at Willow Bend. Owned by entrepreneur Nikita Hemani, Simba and the barkery are all about dog treats carefully crafted from natural and high-quality ingredients.
“We’re so excited to take Simba’s Barkery to the next stage by having a real brick-and-mortar location inside Willow Bend,” Hemani said. “Thank you Starwood and Willow Bend for this amazing opportunity to grow the business and reach out to the community.
Hemani got the idea for Simba’s Barkery in 2012 when she started volunteering with a local dog rescue as a foster parent. After fostering several dogs of different breeds, with different personalities and challenges, she realized “the one thing they had in common was their unconditional love for us. So why not give back some of this love? And the best way to a dog’s heart is through his stomach,” she explained.
“I started baking treats for all my dogs at home,” Hemani continued. “I did research on what is good for the dog and what is harmful, and developed treats that are both healthy and tasty. Now it’s time to share these goodies with everyone in our community!”
The dog treats are baked fresh every day with human-grade ingredients. Doggie Ale, Pupcakes, Pupsicles and Thin Mints are among the Barkery’s top products. During the holidays, the product line expands to include doggie eggnog, Santa cookies and gift baskets with an array of Barkery products.
The Battle of the Pop-Up entrepreneur contest supports local businesses by providing the winning company or start-up with space in the property to open a store. The exposure helps build the businesses while introducing the products or services to the community.
“We love hosting the Battle of the Pop Up in support of our community’s fantastic, innovative entrepreneurs,” said Amy Medford, marketing director at The Shops at Willow Bend. “We’re thrilled to help Simba’s Barkery realize its dream of having a retail store, in which they can introduce our community to their top-notch dog treats.”
The contest asked area retail entrepreneurs to submit plans and concepts. The winner receives a rent-free space for four months, use of existing mall or store fixtures, and free utilities. Simba’s Barkery also receives a $500 merchandising package from the center that includes interior signage, table-printed displays and graphic design services.
Simba’s Barkery will be located near Macy’s across from Everything But Water.Simba's Barkery >
This information was provided as a press release from The Shops at Willow Bend.