Everybody’s business

I ventured out into the heat to visit the new dog bakery in the Raley’s Skypark Plaza, where I met a little dog named Angel with a ribbon in her hair.

The shop is called Scraps Dog Bakery and Pet Nutrition Center, and it was opened three weeks ago by Cindy Brasier, who was so impressed when she saw her friend’s Scraps store in Grass Valley that she just had to buy into the Reno-based franchise.

Besides tons of dog food, treats and toys, there’s gear like doggie life jackets, doggie sleeping bags and even doggie sun goggles (appropriately named “Doggles”).

The dog biscuits, displayed in a glass case like at a human bakery, are not made on site but rather delivered fresh every few days. There are mint biscuits shaped like trees, oatmeal biscuits shaped like moose and the most popular item: peanut butter biscuits shaped like teddy bears with carob eyes.

“All of our products here are all natural,” Brasier said, mentioning the absence of byproducts as well as corn, wheat and soy.

There’s even a small section for cats.

It’s what’s for dinner
I also noticed a sign up on Mangrove Avenue, at the former site of Glorious Gardens, announcing the impending arrival of Dream Dinners.

According to the corporation’s Web site, it’s a place where busy folks can put on an apron and spend two hours walking through buffet-style “food stations,” scooping up ingredients for 12 meals to take home and cook and serve to their families. At the scheduled food-assembly sessions, the customer-chefs can also meet people and chat as they put the meals together.

Offerings include such things as chicken taco chip casserole, salmon oriental and meatball sandwiches. Meals from one session last for a month if served three times a week, and the cost is about $15 per meal—$150 to $180 for the session, plus the cost of side dishes if you want them.

Two Seattle-area women started the business and later decided to franchise it out. The Chico outlet is among seven “coming soon” to California, and will be run by local resident Sandy Granicher.

Hippie chic
Thanks to www.thesmokinggun.com, curious minds have access to all kinds of relevant and irreverent information, including the demands of 155 bands whose lists of contract requirements have been “leaked” to the popular Web site.

The String Cheese Incident created quite a stir when the music group appeared in Chico a few weeks ago. It turns out that, besides embracing their hippie fans (and rudely refusing to honor a CN&R photographer’s “all-access” pass), they must approve any other performers on the bill, forbid introductions and emcees, require the inclusion of the word “The” in all publicity, allow patrons to enter with empty water bottles and must be provided with a “runner” to deliver and pick up the band’s laundry.

On the food front, they require, among dozens of other things, French roast coffee, all-natural soda such as Knudsen’s, tamari-roasted almonds, an organic fruit tray, three Stretch Island fruit leathers, “One (1) bag of assorted chocolates and candies (the good stuff),” and two vegan meals plus fish for the vegetarians in the band (yeah, fish is not a vegetable—go figure). On the forbidden list: nonrecyclables, iceberg lettuce, already-opened food packages, Miller, Coors, Rolling Rock or any beer in green bottles.

Not nearly as groovy as James Taylor, who requires that all edible leftovers be donated to a local soup kitchen.