Cranberry’s Rollaway Dog Cafe serves up treats on the go
Pittsburgh-area pups have something new to wag their tails over.
The Rollaway Dog Cafe, based in Cranberry Township, Butler County, is the only mobile dog food and treat truck around.
“We specialize in treats your dogs can come to the window to order and eat right on the spot,” says co-owner Maureen Laniewski, who owns and operates the doggie food truck with friends Rae McStay and Ann Straub.
The ladies hail from pet care industries (Ann is a biologist specializing in animal nutrition and owns The Holistic Pet Nutrition Center in Zelienople and Maureen owns All Pet & Home Care, an in-home pet sitting service.)
Self-professed “dog and animal lovers,” the trio collaborated on opening a dog-only food cart after noticing Rae’s food truck sat idle for years in her backyard.
“Rae and her husband Brian had the dream of going south with the cart and selling guacamole, hummus and fresh delectables from the cart,” Laniewski says. “I will never forget the day Rae mentioned we should do a dog food truck. My head literally did a 360. It was a brilliant idea, this was Rae’s brainchild, and from that the idea of The Rollaway Dog Cafe was born.”
Rollaway launched in May 2018, appearing at festivals including the PNC Mutt Strut, Muttster Mash, OpenStreetsPGH, Dogtoberfest and Lucky’s Dog Festival.
The cart operates seasonally, usually April-November, and the public often does a double-take when sizing up the food cart.
“They get a kick out of it and say, ‘Wait a sec, this is a cart just for dogs? ’” Laniewski says. “The response is always positive and usually full of excitment in some form.”
Furry friends can select from several fermented raw organic food menu items such as beef, chicken, pork or turkey, goat cheese, goat’s milk snow cones, pupscicles (choose from frozen turkey bone broth, pumpkin or raw goat’s milk,) beef bully sticks, organic CDB oil, no hides (rawhide-free) and more.
McStay whips up doggie delectables such as the popular frozen “pupscicles” —made from organic pumpkin puree or turkey. “They are really good for dog’s digestive systems,” McStay says.
A pop-up store beside the food cart sells treats, chewables and unique pet products.
The goat’s milk snow cone with added toppings is the top-seller and portions are served in snack sizes, rangeing in price from $1-$6 per serving. “We are careful with portions and don’t want a dog to eat too much,” McStay says.
Add freeze-dried turkey, peanut butter or banana biscuit toppings for $1 each.
“We use a lot of goat milk products because it is one of the few whole foods that all animals can live on,” Straub says.
Thirsty pups can choose from water, Good Boy Dog Beer (all-natural nonalcoholic), kefir or goat’s milk ($2 small, $4 large.)
Available for doggie birthday parties, home celebrations and now booking 2019 events, The Rollaway Dog Cafe has increased bookings since opening last year.
“Goals this year include participating anywhere that is having a dog inspired, dog-friendly event,” Laniewski says.
“We travel all over the Pittsburgh region and the feedback has been wonderful. The dogs are happy and the owners are happy.”
Rollaway customer Tanya Diable of Butler says the cart is a welcome addition to Pittsburgh’s growing dog event scene.
Diable patronized Rollaway while attending a dog day event in Mars last year.
“I thought the dog cart was an absolutely great idea with a healthy product for my dog Boone — he ate his first doggie ice cream,” Diable says. “I don’t have to worry what’s in it (the food) and Boone ate that ice cream up super quick.”
“The cart has been a lot of fun so far,” McStay says.
“It combines all of my favorite things: teaching people about pet nutrition, preparing and serving food and interacting with people and dogs. It is very satisfying to provide something fun and healthy that makes people (and pets) happy.”
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.