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Audrey Mas: the ins and outs of Cookie Street

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At almost nine years old, this little girl already has a lot on her plate. DB’s AUDREY MAS tells Alexander Grasic about the ins and outs of Cookie Street, the dog-treat making business that she runs out of her home kitchen.

Why did you start making doggie treats?
First, I wanted to make cookies for humans but because I’m allergic to eggs, nuts and sesame, it was going to be quite hard. Then one day I went to the store to buy some treats for our dog Dylan. As I was looking at the ingredients, I saw things in them that aren’t safe for dogs to eat. I know what that’s like, so I had the idea to make healthy treats that would be safe for dogs that had allergies too. Dogs are my favourite animals, with cheetahs. We sold our first batch of treats in September. Tell us about the treats. All of the treats are made from oat flour, which me and Mum make ourselves. We then add different ingredients to make our five flavours. I came up with the flavours I thought Dylan would like. The first two we made, the Pumpernickel Balls and Snappy Snacks, are actually vegetarian. We used Snappy Snacks to teach Dylan how to sit. He is chief taste-tester and also gets all the rejects. Some things in the treats are different because of my allergies. We use apple sauce instead of eggs, and sunflowerseed butter instead of peanut butter. Humans can eat them (I’ve tried them all), but they won’t taste that good because they don’t have any salt or sugar in them. You can also freeze them for up to six months.

How is Cookie Street doing?
I have people all over Hong Kong. One time when I was in the lift to take Dylan out, there was this lady who said, “Oh I know you, you do dog treats!” And I said, “Yeah.” And then she said, “We’re gonna order some.” And she did. I make about 12 bags a week; we went to a Handmade Hong Kong market and sold out in three hours! Sometimes I write letters to people, if they order a lot or if their dog is sick. One puppy, Gerald, he was really sick and needed an operation, so I wrote a letter for him. We have a logo: I worked with

a graphic designer. I thought at first it was a random cookie shape and then we realised it was an ear and a head of a dog. There are also dog paws in the name, and I chose the colour because purple is my favourite, along with yellow and green. My grandparents in Australia had it put on an apron and hat that I wear when I cook.

What is your work-school balance like?
Sometimes my Mum helps me when I’m at school. I just got back from school, and after this I have piano class. If people make an order, they might have to wait a few days so I can have time to make them.

What’s next?
I am going to speak at DMPS [Discovery Mind Primary School] to other Year 4 kids as a ‘Young Entrepreneur,’ and then at my school. I go to the French school in DB North Plaza [L’Ecole Française Internationale de Lantau], so I have to say it in French there. I am working on birthday cakes that people can eat with their dogs. People love celebrating with their dogs. Dylan will have some new flavours to test soon

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