Target to carry local pet shop’s gear

February 3, 2012
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Local pet snack bakery Polka Dog will debut a limited run of treats and other pet products at Target stores nationwide in May.

The national chain’s new The Shops at Target program creates partnerships with small, independent businesses across the country to co-create limited-edition collections.

“Someone I’ve never met before, who’s never heard of my business before, will come into a Target and see this collection and hopefully be able to imagine this place called Polka Dog Bakery, a heaven for dogs, and be able to have an experience of something different,” Polka Dog co-owner Robert Van Sickle told the Gazette.  “It’s a powerful way to re-create what the JP Polka Dog is all about. That part is really cool for us.”

“We were both surprised. It wasn’t something that we were expecting,” Polka Dog co-owner Deb Gregg said of being approached by Target.

“Target has been canvassing the globe to uncover distinctive shops that offer something surprising and unexpected for our guests,” Target spokesperson Jamie Bastian said. “The Polka Dog Bakery had a compelling point of view so we jumped at the opportunity to co-create a pets collection with owners Rob and Deb, which we knew our guests would love.”

The Polka Dog collection at Target will include toys, collars and harnesses as well as Polka Dog’s signature all-natural dog treats. It will be displayed in “a designated branded area of the Pets aisle,” Bastian said.

Polka Dog is one of the first five businesses selected to participate. None of the others are Massachusetts-based.

“It’s a real opportunity. We felt humbled to do something we care so much about and to be able to share with the country on such a large scale,” Gregg said.

The collection debuts May 6 at Target stores nationwide and at Target.com.

Polka Dog has two Boston locations, one at 42 South St. and one in the Back Bay. Its products are already available in pet supply stores nationwide and are also available through its website, polkadog.com.

Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story incorrectly stated that six businesses had been chosen to participate. Only five have been chosen for the first flight of The Shops at Target.

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