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Durham couple turns love of beer, dogs into sustainable business model

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A Durham couple combined their love for brewing and our four-legged friends to create a sustainable business making barley dog treats. (Barley Labs) A Durham couple combined their love for brewing and our four-legged friends to create a sustainable business making barley dog treats. (Barley Labs)
Barley Labs All-Natural Dog Treats are made from "spent grain" left over from brewing beer. (Barley Labs) Barley Labs All-Natural Dog Treats are made from "spent grain" left over from brewing beer. (Barley Labs)
DURHAM, N.C. -

A Durham couple's love of ale has spilled into a love for barley. Add in an appreciation for our four-legged friends, and Scott Beaudry and his girlfriend Theresa Chu have a recipe for a sustainable business.

Since his favorite past time is brewing his own beers, Beaudry is a pretty popular guy in his neighborhood -- a driveway hobby that he's perfected over the years.

The finished product ensures an invite to neighborhood barbecues, but Beaudry is also popular with his four-legged neighbors as well.

After he makes his popular brews, Beaudry and Chu use the left over grains to make dog treats.

"It's now called spent grain because you can't use it to make more beer," Beaudry explained. "So this is what we turn into dog treats."

"It's beer, it's dog treats, it's sort of everything I like," Beaudry said.

After an extensive Internet search on how to make dog treats, and with Barley -- their lab mix -- Who they call the chief inspiration officer, Barley Labs All-Natural Dog Treats was born.

[LINK] Learn more about Barley Labs

"It was just playing around with ingredients," Chu said. "What tasted the best to our dog."

"We feel good about knowing exactly what our dog is snacking on -- and now we can share that with you and your four-legged best friends, too."

One bag at a time, Chu says baking dog treats at home is time-consuming. Now, their home is more of a dog treat factory.

"Once they bake, to get rid of bacteria we put them in the dehydrator for 24 hours," Chu said.

The budding entrepreneurs quickly realized Scott's hobby beer grains couldn't keep up, so the couple reached out to Durham's Fullsteam Brewery. They now use Fullsteam's Southern Lager.

Barley Labs dog treats are now sold at nine locations in the Triangle, as well as a retailer in Burlington and Roanoke, Virginia.

Melanie Sanders

Melanie's "What's Next" series features an engaging approach to storytelling and highlights the leaders in innovation who are shaping our future. Check it out HERE! More>>

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