Doggy Bag owner looking to sell after 16 years in business

By Alex Nemec

Aug. 13, 2019

 Eric Eck feeding some of his treats from to, left to right, his dog Duncan, Cool Joyce Studio owner Joyce Foy’s dog Anya and the dogs’ best friend Cooper.
Photo courtesy of Eric Eck

OCONOMOWOC — The Doggy Bag pet store in Oconomowoc, 124 E. Wisconsin Ave., announced late Sunday night that the owner Eric Eck hopes to sell the business or close it by the end of October.

“After 16 years and making millions (yes millions) of treats for your pooches, and making so many great friends through those years,we have made the difficult decision to move on to new adventures and either sell or close The Doggy Bag,” the store’s Facebook post states.

The Doggy Bag was opened in 2003 by Eric Eck after he bought the business from the previous owners and has sold his gourmet dog treats to dogs with a variety of dietary needs.

Eck didn’t just sell his treats at his store; he sold treats at the Piggly Wiggly in Hartland and Watertown, Albrecht’s Delafield Market and Sendik’s Fine Foods in Brookfield. His cookies were also sold under Sendik’s Food Markets’ own label in 14 stores.

Eck said the decision to try and sell the business or have it close came after his wife Lori found out she would lose her job after Boston Store closed. Eck said Lori’s job would provide insurance and allowed Doggy Bag to operate.

Eck found a full-time job at Collins Aerospace in New Berlin to provide insurance for his family and his wife found a job with Macy’s in Madison.

“The bane of any small business is insurance,” Eck said.

Eck said he and wife had begun thinking about their lives during retirement and decided he couldn’t quit his full-time job just because his wife got one.

“We’re at the point where we need to start thinking about ourselves a little bit,” Eck said. “We have hopes and dreams for life after we retire, like most people do.”

Eck said it was a hard decision to make.

“We met so many wonderful people and had so many wonderful experiences, it was very hard,” he said.

Eck said he would like to sell the business to someone, just as he bought it when he opened up.

“We’d work with them and share recipes with them,” Eck said. “We sold to area grocery stores and could have that continue on.”

Amid all the comments Eck has received, there are still some that make him laugh.

“People have commented asking about our recipes because they’ve said their dog will only eat our treats,” Eck said.

Of the things he said he was going to miss the most, Eck said he is going to miss the people because dog people are the nicest people in the world.

“People would come in here and it made them happy to make their dog happy,” he said.