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Wednesday, Aug 12, 2020
Rehoboth Beach doggy ice cream parlor opens second spot, and another is on the way
It's not quite yet the dog days of summer, but, in Rehoboth Beach, it might as well be.
Salty Paws has opened a second doggy ice cream parlor in the Delaware resort town.
And a third, and much bigger, location is coming this fall to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
The new Salty Paws location at 49 Rehoboth Ave. caters to four-legged customers and their humans. It's close to the Rehoboth boardwalk and bandstand.
The site had formerly been home to Cold Stone Creamery. It's a few blocks away from the original Salty Paws site that's still operating at 149 Rehoboth Ave., Suite 6B.
In June 2018, owner Suzanne Tretowicz got tails wagging when she opened the flagship Salty Paws doggy ice cream parlor and bakery in the space next to Arena's Deli off Rehoboth Avenue, near Baltimore Avenue.
The shop in the Village By the Sea center at 149 Rehoboth Ave. soon attracted all kinds of canines.
Humans began bringing every kind of dog breed, ranging from French bulldogs to Leonbergers, to lap up scoops of hand-dipped, made-in-house ice creams with flavors like pumpkin, peanut butter, maple bacon, vanilla, blueberry and carob.
Since the consumption of dairy and sugar can upset the digestive systems of some dogs, Salty Paws' ice cream is made with yogurt and goat's milk. No sugar is added.
People who want to have dessert alongside their dog can get novelty ice cream sandwiches, cones and bars, just for humans, in a separate freezer case.
For the last year, Tretowicz says dog owners have been searching out the ice cream parlor even though it's not visible from Rehoboth Avenue, the town's busy thoroughfare.
About six weeks ago, Salty Paws opened its second shop in the beach town. Tretowicz says the company is now franchising.
The visibility of the second shop has been a boon for the businesses.
"The other one is tucked away. We were getting a lot of phone calls about people having trouble finding us," Tretowicz says.
She says the new Salty Paws shop near the boardwalk "is a great representation of our franchise."
Salty Paws sells ice cream made especially for dogs and baked dog goodies, along with dehydrated treats and toys.
Prices range from $4.99 for one scoop to $6.99 for three scoops. The dog ice cream can be topped with canine treats like liver, chicken, sweet potato and tripe.
Rehoboth has long been a dog-friendly town. Many restaurants and shop owners set bowls of water outside of their businesses for tourists and locals walking their dogs.
More than 3.5 million people visit downtown Rehoboth each year, according to 2016 statistics, the most recent available, from the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce.
And many of those people are spoiling and pampering their pets.
This year, U.S. owners are expected to spend $75.38 billion on their pets, up from $72.56 billion in 2018.
Dogs, with exception of service dogs or those aiding law enforcement, are prohibited on Rehoboth's beach and boardwalk from May 1 through Sept. 30, but they are allowed on the streets, and on the beach in Dewey Beach (just south of the boardwalk) before 9:30 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m.
Dogs also are allowed in the state parks, such as Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes or Delaware Seashore State Park, south of Dewey Beach.
While some people were skeptical when Tretowicz opened Salty Paws last year, she says the shop, opened year-round, has been gaining customers.
"People love the concept of a destination place to take their dogs," Tretowicz says.
"In the last year, we've experienced so many different people and families and had such a positive response. It's such a happy place."
So much so, Tretowicz says plans are now in the works to bring a Salty Paws ice cream shop and retail store with an outdoor deck to a new location on Birch Street in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Tretowicz says the site is near The Creamery of Kennett Square, the pop-up beer garden that's also on Birch Street.
"We're hoping for an early fall opening," she says, likely in September or October.
Time will tell if Rehoboth can support two doggy ice cream parlors.
Right now, Tretowicz says the shop near the boardwalk has been popular with a large amount of walk-in traffic, but the flagship operation is still holding its own.
"We're really hoping to keep both open year-round," she says.