Story by Susan Gilmore
Walk by the old, shutdown Ramona Cleaners on 40th and Wallingford Avenue and you’ll see the face of Sweet Lilly, the 9-year-old Great Dane and namesake of the new business Sweet Lilly’s Droodles.
The pet treat business is the brainchild of Leslie Shelton, owner of Sweet Lilly’s and a Wallingford resident.
Wrote Shelton in her Sweet Lilly story: “In 2012 my husband and I made the decision to open our hearts and home to a new puppy. After the loss of our first Great Dane, Abby, it took years to get over the pain and heartbreak. There is something magical about being a Dog Parent. They’re your best friend.”
Shelton first opened her business six years ago in SODO, but had to shut it down due to health restrictions. So she moved it home to Wallingford April 1.
The family-run business will make the Sweet Lilly’s treats at their new shop, but won’t be open to retail shoppers for at least a year. She sells her wares online to 100 retailers, including Bartells and Wally Pets, on Wallingford Avenue. Wally Pets owner Paul Brown was an early fan and they were the first retail to sell Sweet Lilly’s Droodles.
Shelton said all her ingredients come from Seattle and she uses all restaurant grade chicken she buys from Plymouth Poultry. “I want to source everything locally, or organic,” said Shelton, adding that the treats have no salt or preservatives. “I wanted them to taste so good that I’d want to try them”.
Before Shelton decided to open her new shop, she did testing at Wallingford Park and her godson, a graduate of Cornish School, designed the packaging.
While sweet Lilly is the business namesake, the family now has a second great dane, Bagley Rose, named for the local street Shelton’s husband grew up on.
While there is no retail shop yet, visitors are welcome to drop by for a free sample.