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Sit! Stay! And Crush Your Goals with a Different Kind of Treat (Interview)

Are you choosing to live a happy, fulfilled life?

That’s right, studies have proven that ninety percent of the factors that make the difference between a happy life and an unhappy life are factors within your control. One life hack proven to help unlock your best life is setting, pursuing, and achieving goals.

But you don’t have to take my word for it; many other people are proving this point every single day. They are setting goals, doing the work and building the life of their dreams.

Don’t Take My Word For It, a new Operation Melt blog series, shares how other people – people just like you – are choosing to achieve happiness through their goals.

Yes, you can choose a happy life, but don’t take my word for it!

Amuse-Bouche

Before we jump into today's post, I offer you this "dad joke" as a light "amuse-bouche" to entertain your mind before we get serious. Like any other amuse-bouche, you may hate it, but it is worth every penny you paid for it, right?

After a talking Sheepdog gets all the sheep in the pen, he reports back to the farmer: “All 40 accounted for.” “But I only have 36 sheep,” says the farmer. “I know,” says the Sheepdog. “But I rounded them up.”

Sit! Stay! And Crush Your Goals with a Different Kind of Treat (Interview)

In this week’s Don’t Take My Word For It post, I am sharing an Interview with a Goal-Crusher. In these interviews, I sit down with someone that is accomplishing big things by setting and achieving their goals to learn their secrets. Then I share those secrets with you. It’s like free mentoring from someone already on the road to success. Who doesn’t want that?!

Few neighborhoods are as walkable and fun as German Village in Columbus, Ohio. There are restaurants, bars, coffee shops and many other businesses intermingled with homes from the early 1900s. By far, one of the most unique stores in the neighborhood is a bakery.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill bakery; you won’t be walking out with a sweet treat. That is unless you have four legs and are a good boy!

The Cakehound is a gourmet bakery for dogs. But the pups and treats are only part of this bakery’s story. More impressive than the intricate treats is the owner, Teresa. 

Beyond being a phenomenal baker and decorator, Teresa is also fantastic with the animals and people who visit her store. She is also a great neighbor with a friendly, smiling face for the dozens of people who walk by each day.  

Food, people and animals: definitely a triple threat!

But wait, there’s more…Teresa is also a goal-crusher!

Teresa recently sat down with Operation Melt to share her inspirational story. Read on to learn how she grew a unique idea, a bakery for animals, into a thriving business through hard work and several goal-success techniques.

Good news! You can use these same techniques to crush your own goals, even if they don’t involve furry friends.

Please introduce yourself and tell Operation Melt readers what you do.

Hey there! My name is Teresa, and I own and operate a gourmet bakery for dogs called The Cakehound.

Can you please share the story of what motivated you to start The Cakehound? What was your vision?

I started in the pet industry in 2010 when I took a job as a sales associate at another dog bakery in downtown Columbus. I quickly transitioned from a seasonal role to the baker / decorator and never looked back. Fast forward 8 years later, the owner faced some tough decisions and decided to close her doors – no more dog bakery, oh no!!

At this point in time, I was so invested in not only making treats for dogs and being a part of their lives: the good, the bad, the happy and the sad, that I couldn’t imagine leaving the industry. I put pen to paper (and whisk to bowl) and got working on a bakery of my own. In October 2018, I launched The Cakehound out of my home kitchen.

I worked the market circuits, pop-up events and anything else I could find to help spread the word that a new bakery was out there. Throughout the entirety of this experience, I was bartending and managing bars or restaurants… until the pandemic forced everyone to close. This was a major push point for me. Until then, I was afraid to take the leap into full-time entrepreneurship.

It took some time, but I converted my website to allow people to select bakery items, schedule pick-ups and swing through my driveway to grab their pups’ treats.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that folks were all about adopting dogs during the shutdown; this really worked in my favor. The heavy influx of adoptions, in conjunction with the shiny new website, increased my sales enough that I could support myself (ish!), so I kept going. Partnerships with other small businesses, local rescues and nonprofits really helped to gain exposure for The Cakehound

At the start of 2021, I decided to start telling people I was going to open a storefront. I figured the more I talked about it and really manifested the vision, the more likely it was to happen. Then, like magic, it did.

I found my storefront in German Village, negotiated my own lease, then used up all my favors and built out the space in less than two months. The Cakehound opened its doors on September 11, 2021. 

Teresa - The Cakehound

The community here is second to none. The support the neighborhood has given and the continued support from customers who have been around since ordering cakes through instant messenger and direct messages to all the new pups and their humans that come through the doors is honestly a bit overwhelming. I feel very lucky to have the staff I have had to help with day-to-day operations, prep baking, and to lean on when I’m feeling a little burnt out and just need a day or two of rest.

Overall, the experience has been challenging but incredibly rewarding.

What were your biggest challenges in starting The Cakehound? How did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I faced at home was getting people to order and feel comfortable picking up in a driveway in the middle of a neighborhood. I just kept pushing and relying on word of mouth. For a little while, I offered delivery… which was awful. Shout out to all the delivery drivers out there- I don’t know how you do it!

The other challenge I faced was figuring out exactly what needed to be done to start a business. There isn’t a list anywhere that you check off, nor are the instructions very clear for what needs to be done to make and distribute treats for pets. This part took a lot of research, questions and patience.

What goal success tips and techniques have worked well for you that you would like to share with my readers?

Ask for help. Ask for help. Ask for help.

This is something I still struggle with and probably will forever. At the end of the day, we can’t and shouldn’t do everything ourselves.

What else would you like my Operation Melt readers to know about you, The Cakehound or goal success in general?

I want people to know that owning and operating a business isn’t easy, nor is it the right path for everyone, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Stay positive, support fellow makers, and lean on friends and family when you’re struggling.

Lastly, stay humble and kind.

Navigating this world is hard… so have some fun along the way.

Teresa at The Cakehound

How can Operation Melt readers learn more about The Cakehound?

You can follow The Cakehound on Instagram and Facebook (@thecakehound) and get an (almost) daily dose of delish-looking cakes with slobbering dogs; what more can you ask for?! Visit our website at www.thecakehound.com.

My sincere thanks to Teresa for sharing her story. It is awe-inspiring how she grew an idea into a home-based business and a successful store in German Village. Spending every day living your dream while seeing customers’ cute doggos is a win-win in my book!

Let’s pause to review some of the goal success techniques that Teresa relied on to help her get The Cakehound started without her business rolling over or playing dead:

  1. She followed her passion: making tasty treats for cut dogs.
  2. She started small and took it one step at a time: she started with a home-based business, helped clients get comfortable with driveway pickups, and taught herself how to start a unique business.
  3. She found opportunity hidden inside setbacks: the pandemic closed restaurants but increased pet adoptions.
  4. She set a big goal (BHAG) and had faith in herself despite not knowing how she’d get there: telling people she would be opening a storefront for her business.
  5. She didn’t go it alone and asked for help when needed: using up favors to help with the build-out of her store.

These are top-notch goal success strategies. When paired with Teresa’s willingness to move out of her comfort zone, she is truly an unstoppable goal crusher.

Do you have a big goal that you want to crush, as Teresa did? Are you trying to do it all by yourself? You don’t have to go it alone. Operation Melt coaching can help you achieve your life, health, career and leadership goals.

I believe in you; let me help YOU believe in you!

One final thought for Teresa’s customers: woof, woof, bow wow, good dog!



Meet Coach Tony

My name is Coach Tony, and I am a coach, author and project manager on a mission. I am working to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.

I almost allowed one of my biggest life goals to die without ever being attempted for forty years. My goal almost died, not of failure but of loneliness. But, I took a risk and leveraged a simple, logical process that helped me wildly exceed my goal. 

I transformed my life, and you can do the same with the help of Operation Melt. 

Operation Melt provides engaging, practical content and hands-on coaching to inspire, motivate and equip project managers and other left-brained high-achievers to pursue and accomplish their biggest goals. 


Breathe new life into your goals

Download my free ebook to learn how to create goals that actually work and get the jump-start you need in life!


Breathe new life into your goals

Download my free ebook to learn how to create goals that actually work and get the jump-start you need in life!

Published inDon't Take My Word For It

Disclaimer: The Operation Melt website and blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for general consumer understanding and entertainment only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. As health and nutrition research continuously evolves, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any information presented on this website.

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