Q+A with Karen Patrohay from Michael’s Barkery

Learn about the mission of Michael’s Barkery, a Lowcountry bakery, boutique, and grooming salon.

Three Michaels Barkery teammates show the fresh treats.

Teammates are involved in all aspects of the production of the sweet treats.

Let us set the scene for you. You’re strolling the shops on Daniel Island, walk into a storefront, and are immediately greeted with the smell of peanut butter. The walls are packed with bright dog toys, clothes, and accessories. Then, your eyes meet the treat counter, where you find dozens of homemade dog treats, cookies, and cakes. Yes, you read that right, cakes for dogs.

This is what you see on the surface of Michael’s Barkery, a dog bakery, boutique, and grooming salon at 864 Island Park Dr. (near Viva Tacos + Tequila). If you look a little deeper, this store is much more than a dog bakery.

Michael’s parents own the store, and we talked with Karen Patrohay, Michael’s mom. She told us how the store started and about the bakery’s mission.

Tell us about Michael and how the barkery got started.

The inspiration and namesake for the shop were inspired by Michael, nicknamed “The Mayor.” Known for his outgoing and engaging personality, Michael chose to explore baking and selling dog treats for his high school senior project + because he wanted to make dogs happy.

We have always tried to choose paths that would not limit him because of his intellectual disability, but instead, we tried to build upon his strengths and abilities.

What is your shop’s mission?

Michael’s Barkery’s mission is to make a difference in the lives of adults with cognitive disabilities by providing job opportunities and training, all while having fun supporting animal lovers.

Michael of Michael's Barkery poses with some homemade dog treats.

Meet Michael, the inspiration behind the dog bakery, boutique, and grooming salon.

How do you hope Michael’s dream can inspire others?

Michael is the heart and soul behind Michael’s Barkery, and we hope his story can inspire others to work towards their own dreams.

Who makes the dog treats?

All of our dog treats are made with human-grade, high-quality, nutrient-rich ingredients in our state-of-the-art kitchen. Our teammates are involved in all aspects of our production, including making dough, rolling, cutting and baking, and packaging.

Why did you choose Charleston as the location for your bakery?

The beautiful weather was a big factor, as well as Charleston being such a vibrant and welcoming community. There are so many outdoor activities and adventures to explore with your pets. We wanted to be at a location where we would be able to build and grow long-term relationships with our customers. We love getting to personally know everyone and their pets.

How can people support your store + mission?

Our teammates love to engage with our customers, so stop by to just say hi. They are a joy and inspiration to work with every day. You can’t help but smile when you are with them. We hope that by showcasing their awesome abilities, other doors and opportunities will open for them.