By Lisa Allen | Johnson County Lifestyle
It’s a first in Kansas City and stocks a variety of treats with names like Apple Carrot Niblets, Carrot Cake Begels, Snickerpoodles and Peanut Butter and Oat Biscuits. A labor of love inspired by Zoey and Lucy, the four legged children of Kyle and Lana Robison, GoodDog2Go has only one objective: to bring healthy, alternative dog treats to the Kansas City canine community.
“It’s important to us to know what’s in the food we feed our dogs,” says Lana. The idea to start a business based on their passion for their dogs sparked during a trip to Austin in 2012; they loved the dog-centric atmosphere of South Congress Street and couldn’t help but notice the booming food truck trend. Just as apparent to them was a lack of trucks with treats for Zoey and Lucy. Indulging their long held desire to start a business, Lana and Kyle started researching the idea.
“We took a leap of faith,” says Lana, “and after we started researching and brainstorming, things really just started to roll.” With a background in real estate, Lana brought not only an entrepreneurial spirit to the project but also a solid reputation among friends and acquaintances as the go-to for advice on anything canine.
Kyle used his research skills to navigate the unnerving number of regulations they faced as they built their business. They frequented charity events before they took the plunge and bought the truck, and officially opened GoodDog2Go in April of this year. They quickly learned that even businesses built of passion are subject to a long list of logistical requirements.
While Zoey and Lucy serve as official taste testers, each product is fully evaluated and certified by an independent lab and GoodDog2Go holds a guaranteed analysis for each homemade treat sold on their truck. They’ve also developed two grain-free treats to accommodate pooches with grain allergies.
Additional flavors and grain-free options are in the works.
“We understand that people are embracing local products more and more, and we strive to provide fresh, local ingredients in our homemade treats and to work with respected vendors to offer unique frozen treats and prepackaged items,” says Lana.
It’s not just the products that are local; the commitment is as well. GoodDog2Go has agreements with all Kansas City area dog parks and is active in community events such as Bier Station Yappy Hour, Bark 4 Life and Kansas City Pet Project Adopt-a-Thon, and September’s Wayside Waifs Annual Strutt with your Mutt. GoodDog2Go is a regular in the Crossroads for First Fridays and sponsors a charity each month by collecting donations at the truck that are then given to that charity.
“It’s very important to us that we continue to bring awareness to different charities, outreach programs and rescues in the community,” says Lana. “Our pets are a part of the family, but they have no voice. It’s up to us to be that voice.”
They’ve noticed that those who visit the truck often purchase a product or two as an immediate treat for their pups, but not as many think to order ahead of time or to keep a stock of natural, locally sourced treats at home. That’s a habit they’d like to change and plan to offer both online ordering and a subscription-based service in the near future.
As of this writing, the Robison family was set to expand; the couple is not only expecting their first child, but they’ve added two staff members to GoodDog2Go. Despite the hectic schedules and the juggling necessary to maintain their full-time careers and continue to expand their doggy food truck business, Lana says the work is all worth it.
“It’s passion that makes a difference in the world,” she says. “Everyone can make a difference in the community if they just work on what they’re passionate about. For us, this is it.”