Faith Lewis has a caring heart. She loves her family, her friends and all creatures great and small.
It’s because of her kindness and love for others that Lewis has started her own business, Stewie’s Chewies, a bakery for dogs.
“One day we were driving home and I saw a video about a lady who was making her own dog biscuits,” Lewis said. “I thought we could do that for my dog, Stewart, and so I asked my mom if we could try to make a batch.
“We found a recipe online and one day we made our first batch,” she added.
While Stewie liked the initial results, Lewis and her mother, Amanda Lewis, decided to modify the recipe.
“There are only six ingredients in the batter and the treats don’t have any sugar or preservatives in them,” Amanda Lewis said. “They are supposed to stay fresh for a week but we’ve found they last longer and they can be frozen too.”
Not that the treats last very long if Stewie’s response to them is any indication.
“He would go hog wild with them if we would let him,” Faith Lewis said with a grin. “He likes to lick the batter but we don’t like him to do that because it has eggs in it.
“He taste-tests each batch and has approved of them,” she added. “He even likes the burnt ones but we don’t sell them.”
The treats are $5 for a large bag of 45, and a small package of 25 sells for $3.
Initially, Lewis and her mother made enough for 10 bags, thinking they could possibly sell them to family and friends.
“We thought maybe we would be able to sell the first 10 bags and that would be it,” Amanda Lewis said. “We were shocked when we had orders for 50 bags within a few days.
“We sell them on Facebook and we plan to be at the Sedalia Area Farmer’s Market this week and at the Winter Bounty Bag Program at the Celebration Center later this year,” she added. “Faith buys everything she needs to make the treats herself.”
Amanda Lewis added that her daughter pays her in Starbucks coffee for her labor and help with the project, which she considers a really good deal.
The two spend about four hours each weekend making the treats and have considered making some items for Christmas as long as the work doesn’t get too “crazy” or takes away from Lewis’ school work.
An “A” student at the middle school, Lewis commented that she loves science, the outdoors, dance, barrel racing and Legos as well as her animals.
“I had begged for a dog of my own and a year ago this week, I got Stewart (a Bischon-Yorkie mix) when he was just a puppy,” Faith Lewis said. “He’s really a black fluff ball and he stays with me almost all the time.
“I think he might be afraid of something in my room,” she added. “So he sleeps on his favorite red blanket in the living room.”
Stewie isn’t the only animal Lewis would like to own.
“I’m saving for a horse,” Faith Lewis said. “I barrel race and love to ride but we don’t have a place for a horse yet.
“That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do this, so I could save for my horse and the things I will need to care for one,” she added. “But I wanted to be able to give some of the money I make to help other people and animals too.”
Lewis donates 10 percent of her profits to Animal FAIR (Foundation for Animals in Risk) and another 10 percent to Cornerstone Baptist Church where she and her family attend.
She has plans to make a donation as well as giving some of Stewie’s Chewies to the Sedalia Animal Shelter in the future.
“She has such a soft heart for all animals and she doesn’t know one she doesn’t like,” Amanda Lewis said. “She would own a small zoo if we had the room and would let her.
“We’re just very proud of her and her love for others,” she added.
For more information on Stewie’s Chewies can be found on Facebook at Stewie’s Chewies Homemade Dog Treats.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.