Taj Mahound–Gourmet Dog Treats

For all you dog lovers out there, you’ve gotta visit this gourmet bakery and shop in Decatur, GA. If you don’t have a pooch, you should still watch this interview because Krista Aversano has some great insights into how she started her successful small business. Her story is a great example of someone who took a risk to follow her dream.

My name is Krista Aversano

The name of my company is Taj Mahound and we are a bakery for dogs and I’m the owner

UnderCurrent Atlanta: How did you come up with such an interesting name?

Krista Aversano: I wanted it to be over the top, like a palace like something very fancy so Taj Mahal came up and then we thought Taj Mahound…but it still fits with the business because now out tag line is “Treat your dog like royalty”.

UCA: Nice, so how did you get your business started?

 KA: I started it in December of 2004. I basically started the business because I was working in corporate America and I was not happy and I thought well I’m eating healthy, I think my dog should eat healthy too so let me just mess around and bake some things for my dog and that’s kinda how the whole thing started and I started whole selling to businesses in town and it just caught on; they kept buying so that’s kind of how the business got started.

UCA: Gourmet Dog Treats…thats a unique business idea. How do you know what dogs like?

The treat we’re most well-known for is a peanut butter treat and dogs love peanut butter so its peanut butter, honey and flour essentially, there’s no sugar, it’s all natural. We have a variety of different shapes in cookies and we try to make new stuff all the time because we don’t want our customers to get bored.

I have no formal baking training. I always like to draw; (I’m) kind of more like an art, artistic person. Around here we just try a lot of different things and with a lot of research like online, asking vets, things like that, that’s kind of how I learned what’s good for dogs.

UCA: Lot’s of people have good ideas, how did you go from an idea to a business?

KA: My inspiration is that I was unhappy, I started talking about this is what I want to do and I know so many people that talked about things but just don’t do it so I just decided that if I’m gonna do it, I’m just gonna put my mind to it and do it.

I always thought it would be so cool to own my on business so I can do whatever I want whenever I want which is funny cause I’m always here.

It nice you know, what cool is that we know all our customers, most of the customers that come in here are regulars

Paula: I love everything about Taj Mahound, great product, very high quality and a great variety

Logan, he’ll eat anything and everything, he’s a huge fan of the cheddar biscuits

KA: When you become part of a community, like I mean all of the neighboring businesses, we all help each other out and know each other. I see so many businesses like this that come and go

the fact that we’ve been around, the fact that people tell us all the time that our stuff is some of the best looking stuff they’ve ever seen in as far as dog treat are concerned

Our biggest achievement is taking a business and really making it and having like a loyal following

UCA: Tell me one of the craziest stories you experienced while owning Taj Mahal.

So yeah, people sometimes don’t want to accept that our stuff is for dogs…and they always say “Wow, those look good enough for me to eat” and we always say “Well you can if you want to” but no, a guy came in like maybe like a week ago and Cuppie who works here kept saying “ You know, these are for dogs, like you do understand” and he was like “No, I just really have a sweet tooth, I just really want one” and so he bought one and as he was walking out the door, he started to eat it and he didn’t come back, he didn’t come back and complain which is actually kinda funny.

Check out all the goodies available at Taj Ma-Hound here and follow the shop on Twitter.