Treat your pooch to some doggie ice cream

By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff
May 12, 2008

GUILFORD — With the weather heating up, local ice cream parlors are getting ready for the summer rush of customers looking for their cones and cups.

One local shop is adding another serving option: dog bowl.

Working with Clinton couple Drew and Kyona Sirico, Ice Cream at 23 Water St. plans to begin serving Pup Ice, a lactose-free dog ice cream.

The Siricos started making the ice cream as a treat for their two Labrador retrievers about a year ago. Calling the business Cold Nose Creamery, they first tried selling Pup Ice through the Internet, but found the shipping expenses prohibitive.

“That experiment basically fell off because the shipping costs were just brutal,” Drew Sirico said. “The demand is there, so that’s why we decided to go local this year and we sent out the information to some local shops.”

With its outside courtyard area, 23 Water St. already attracts dog owners during the summer months, co-owner Michelle Raiti said.

“We have a lot of foot traffic — people walking around the Green, people taking their dogs to the Green,” Raiti said.

The shop, located on Water Street around the corner from the Green, started selling Pup Ice this past weekend.

Pup Ice comes in four flavors: peanut butter, mint, vanilla and chocolate, which is made with carob so it’s safe for dogs. The store plans to sell two sizes, a 3.5-oz. single-serving size for about $2 and a take-home pint-size for about $6.

The Siricos still make all the ice cream at home using an ice cream machine. They also designed the labels, packaging and marketing, and one of their dogs, yellow lab Riley, appears on their fliers.

They also have two cats, but haven’t made ice cream specifically for felines yet.

Drew Sirico is a director of internet marketing for Pexagon Technology in Guilford, while Kyona Sirico is an optician at an optometrists’ office in Branford. They live with their four pets in Clinton and work on the ice cream business during their free time.

“It’s time consuming, but our dogs love it because any time they hear the ice cream machine they immediately bolt from a dead sleep or their food bowl and get free samples,” Drew Sirico said.

Kyona Sirico added that they wanted to make flavors that would appeal to dogs but would not be a “turnoff” for their humans.

“It was kind of a combination of what’s going to appeal to dogs but also to people,” she said.

The Siricos also wanted to make sure the ice cream would be healthy for dogs, which are lactose intolerant. They used a combination of soy milk and lactose-free milk.

The goal, they said, was to create a product that would allow people to share the ice cream experience with their dogs.

“It just started with us going out and getting ice cream for ourselves and getting home and them looking at us like, ‘Can we have some?’” Kyona Sirico said. “We know for us, we’d love to bring our dogs and they have their ice cream and we have ours too.”

For more information on the Siricos’ business, visit coldnosecreamery.com.

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