Daring Dames: Gina Aulisio, Owner of Three Dog Bakery

Photo Credit: Bogart Handsome Devil

Location: 2622 N. Halsted St., Lincoln Park
Website: threedogbakerychicago.com

“Is this all for dogs?” That has to be the most common question asked inside Three Dog Bakery. And how couldn’t you wonder, as your eyes scan the bake cases, your vision tripping over the neat rows of freshly baked dog treats? The frosting, the designs — it’s all for your pooch, but it packs a mouth-watering punch for humans, too.

Three Dog Bakery is a franchise, but local owner Gina Aulisio is quick to point out the neighborhood attachments. From selling Chicago team collars, bandanas, and toys to hosting dog-and-owner events in the neighborhood and adoption events in her store, Gina has made this your typical local bakery — for your four-legged friend.

All of the ingredients are natural, and while the treats might have you drooling more than your dog, Gina says they’re very bland for humans. She doesn’t use sugar, corn syrup, or anything else our human pallets are accustomed to. For flavor, she adds unsweetened apple sauce, vanilla, and carob, a chocolate substitute safe for dogs that a lot of vegans and lactose-intolerant people enjoy as well.
The shop smells amazing, especially if you’re lucky enough to stop in on a baking day. If it’s your furry friend’s birthday, special order a birthday cake, complete with a birthday message written on top. Flavor choices like peanut butter, carrot, or vanilla accompanied by color and candle choices are sure to make your real kids jealous.

Of course, dogs are allowed in the store. And while Gina and the friendly sales staff will spoil your dog with samples, support them by buying some treats for home. Or, perhaps you need custom hand-painted food and water bowls. Maybe a t-shirt for your dog that says, “My Mom is Single.” What about shampoo or dental care for your dog? Gina’s got you. She’s also got TONS of information about her products, confidently sharing the benefits of certain all-natural ingredients for dogs, as well as sharing a funny anecdote or two about one of her five dogs.

As the owner of a pit bull terrier/black lab mix, I have to say one of the things I most appreciate about Gina is her attention to big dogs. So often, fun doggie stores in the city cater to tiny stick-em-in-your-purse-like-Paris-Hilton dogs. Fine. Sure. I guess I’ll consider those canines of some sort, but my dog is my wrestling buddy, body pillow, and dance partner. From appropriately large rawhides to collars and winter sweaters, Gina understands the needs of every dog owner. Stop in and say hello to Gina and her dogs (who must be the luckiest critters on earth, I’ve decided) and support a woman who adds flair and variety to the Lincoln Park business community, and who would do, and has done, just about everything to support dogs.

Mary-Margaret McSweene

About Mary-Margaret McSweene

Mary-Margaret McSweene makes her home in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago with the love of her life, a pit bull/black lab mix, named Jake. Buying old things that no longer function but offer extreme aesthetic pleasure is her vice; typewriters and rotary phones are favorites. Mary-Margaret also believes that anything in life can be articulated by a Tom Petty song.

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