Stephanie Farrar opened The Canine Cookie Co. on the McKinney square six years ago. And its shelves stay as full as ever.
An inventory of mostly dog biscuits made with meats and peanut butter and cream cheese has turned to a full-scale smorgasbord for the everyday dog: clothes, leashes, belts, really anything you’d buy for your kid.
Farrar seems satisfied running a small but immensely popular shop on a widely recognized downtown square. Born in Austin, she moved around with her Air Force father – Massachusetts, Ohio, Arizona, Washington D.C. – before landing in McKinney about 17 years ago.
She and her husband of 36 years have one daughter and a grandchild on the way.
The shop’s door is always open, so Farrar was more than willing to share some more about her.
What led you to open Canine Cookie Company?
I started for my own dogs, then I started wholesaling my cookies to other stores. I realized I didn’t have enough space…then I realized I needed more than just cookies, and it basically blossomed into what it is today.
How has your business lasted so long on the square?
Dog lovers are wonderful people, and we have a great relationship with our customers. What we offer is unique, and I think they have an enjoyable experience. I concentrate on selling the things people really want. I don’t try to compete with PetSmart, and I never want to be compared to Walmart.
What’s your favorite dog breed?
German shepherd because I grew up with one and they’re really smart. Sherman is who I started making cookies for. But I love all dogs.
What’s your favorite place in McKinney to eat?
When you work on the square, you come to work, and as soon as work is done, you go to your car and drive home. If I’m going to buy anything or eat anything out, McKinney is always my No. 1 choice. We are big-time McKinney supporters.
You can dine with any three people, living or dead – who are they?
Maya Angelou because she’s a very interesting woman. My grandfather William Carpenter because I never got to know him but I have learned about him through reading his books and now I wish I could have an adult conversation with him. And George W. Bush because he’s awesome.
Any hobbies or hidden talents?
I have many hidden talents. I’m learning Spanish; I know a little French and German. It’s a great way to keep my brain active. I took eight years of French in school.
What’s an item on your bucket list?
I’d like to travel in Europe, particularly Italy. I have to learn Italian first.
You could have any superpower – which would you choose?
I would love to fly. I always have those dreams where I’m flying and they’re so awesome.
What advice would you give your teenage self?
“Take good care of yourself.”