Sammamish woman bakes to save man’s best friend — one cookie at a time
June 12, 2012
By Lillian O'Rorke
Kim Scott has always had a soft spot for dogs.
Her lifelong love for man’s best friend started when she was child. She would color on the living room floor with her Irish setter, Ginger, who preferred eating stray crayons. Now, the mother of three works full time at Amazon and spends her evenings baking to raise money for animal rescues.
“I don’t remember my life without a dog,” she said. “They are just the greatest things. They can keep a secret. They don’t expect anything from you. They just have this unconditional love, and you just want to give it back.”
Last year the Scott family’s dog, Nyima (pronounced Neeh-mah), died. Scott had often whipped up homemade treats for her giant German shepherd and continued to do so after the dog’s death. Many of her co-workers at Amazon were eager to buy the snacks and pretty soon Scott was buying ingredients like flour and peanut butter in bulk.
“I thought — why don’t I start a dog bakery,” Scott said.
She launched the Nyima Bakery in October.
“Then I started reading all these really fun local blogs, but a lot of them are not too fun,” she said. “You hear tragic stories. The one thing about rescues and shelters is that every single dollar counts.”
Since she already had a career, Scott said she decided to use the bakery to give back to the four-legged community. Each month, through her Rescue of the Month program, she picks a different rescue or shelter to give 10 percent of her sales to. At the same time, she uses her bakery website and Facebook page to feature dogs from those organizations that need a new home.
But the giving doesn’t stop at 10 percent. When Scott learned that Last Hope Canine Rescue needed leashes and collars, she used her work connections to start a collection. Between donations and some she purchased herself, Scott is sending the rescue nearly 200 leashes and collars.
“She is really great at getting people involved,” said Jennifer Geese, whose Seattle shop, Health Mutt, carries Scott’s treats. “She finds stories that she knows people can get behind.”
After reading about three dogs at Valhalla Rescue who needed wheelchairs, Scott launched a fundraiser. Buffy had been shot in the back and partially paralyzed. Badger and Honey were both born without front paws. Scott raised $1,500 and the three are now mobile.
“I love to help these rescues. I love to raise awareness,” Scott said. “I am not going to retire from Nyima Bakery. I just want to give back and it makes me smile.”
A great passion
To keep it all going, she said, she gets to her Sammamish home after work, gets her children situated and gets to baking. For better or worse, she said, her youngest daughter, Ava, is her sous chef. The 15-month-old is especially fond of the honey cream cheese frosting that Scott uses to decorate her made-to-order doggie birthday cakes. Other items include wheat-free peanut butter sammies and carob-dipped bones.
“She has a great passion for making quality, organic dog biscuits,” said Julie Schuster, who sells Scott’s baked goods at her dog friendly espresso bar, Lucky Jacks Latte in Redmond.
Schuster said she likes to tell customers that Scott’s husband often teases her that the dogs eat better than him.
“It’s really cool because, not only do they love the treats, they love that they are local, healthy and they are really interested in how she gives back,” Geese said of Scott’s customers. “Kim is just open to whoever is involved with a rescue.”
On the Web
Every month, Nyima Bakery gives 10 percent to a rescue or shelter through its Rescue of the Month program. This month’s featured rescue is Big Dogs Huge Paws. Learn more at www.nyimabakery.com.
Believing in a cause
Scott started her program, Rescue of the Month, in February when she contacted A Paw Up Rescue in Prosser. Until last winter, the Eastern Washington rescue was primarily run in Yvettes Fitzgerald’s 1,200-square-foot house. Scott heard about its goal to build a new facility and contacted the rescue.
“Our main priority at that point was getting our building up so we could house more dogs,” Fitzgerald said. “One of the things we do is take in a lot of seniors. Puppies get adopted. Seniors sit there and might even end up getting put to sleep in some shelters … We are always humbled when people show their support because they believe in what we do.”
Now that the building is complete, A Paw Up has doubled its number of rescues. With kennels, play yards and rooms for medication, procedures and bathing, the organization works with the dogs and tries to train them. More room at the rescue meant the world to Quinn. At 14 months, the 60-pound dog was malnourished, with weeds entangled in his fur and growing into his skin. He also had a tail injury.
“The veterinarian offered to amputate his tail if we could take him in,” Fitzgerald said.
Thanks to its new building, the rescue had room for Quinn. And as soon as he is done healing, Fitzgerald said she already has a new home lined up for him.
“Kim’s great,” she said. “She has a heart for rescue and a heart for dogs.”
Lillian Tucker: 392-6434, ext. 242, or email@example.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.