A well-known dog bakery and boutique in Ahwatukee will be closing its doors for good on Dec. 31 after the holidays have passed.

Joe Goldblatt, co-owner of Bone Appetit Bakery and Boutique, began seeing a large decrease in business in 2008 when Albertsons moved out of the shopping center. A tough economy made business even worse and recovery has not come quickly enough.

“This summer really started to slow down for us,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of some-what competitors pop up. This shopping center has seen a lot of closures. We’re a small business. It’s tough.”

The store was opened in October of 1999. Helen, Joe’s wife and co-owner of the business, was inspired by the Three Dog Bakery in Kansas City, Mo. Helen said she has always loved dogs and opening a dog-based business gave her a chance to meet plenty of friendly dogs and receive their love and thanks — without having to clean up after them.

“That’s what I’m going to miss the most,” Helen said. “They give me all my loves and cuddles. I get all my kisses here. I give them treats and they like to come in. They make me happy.”

Helen said once the store is closed she plans to find some volunteer opportunity that allows her to work with dogs. Joe plans to get more involved with Rotary, a group he has volunteered with for some time. Together they plan to visit their grandkids more and already they have a Hawaiian vacation in the works.

“She’s the kind of person who just can’t sit,” Joe said. “We’ve still got good health. We’ve got grandkids in Tucson and New York, and we may look into other investment opportunities.”

Bone Appetit will be open through the holidays and will still offer its annual holiday meals for dogs and all the dog treats they’ve become famous for. Boutique items will be discounted as the closing gets closer.

The store is located at 4810 E. Ray Road, Suite 5.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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