Laughing Dog Kitchen raises funds for a food truck at pop-up location fundraiser March 3

BREMERTON — “Some people like cupcakes exclusively, while myself I say there is naught, nor ought there be, nothing so exalted on the face of God’s grey earth as that prince of foods: the muffin.”

And just as Frank Zappa’s Muffin Man prefers, some of Laughing Dog Kitchen’s muffins are their best sellers wholesale.

In farmers markets, however, their cupcakes tend to be their best sellers, but don’t tell the Muffin Man that.

Laughing Dog opened about a year and a half ago, owner Daniella George said. They are largely a wholesale operation, stocking coffee shops throughout the area, from Poulsbo to Gig Harbor, with their vegan, gluten-free baked goods.

“We’re really passionate about making good food that doesn’t taste like, ‘poor me, this is all I can eat because of my dietary restrictions,’ ” George said. “We work really hard on making our own flour blends; we’ve come up with a lot of unique recipes. We primarily do muffins, cookies, cake … breakfast and dessert currently.”

George said that Laughing Dog is also working on developing a really good vegan gluten-free bread recipe, the “holy grail,” since “gluten-free people miss good bread.”

Their baked goods can be found in many coffee shops throughout Kitsap County. And from 5-8 p.m. March 3, they can be found in the green room at the Weekender, 2106 E 11th St. in Manette, coinciding with the First Friday Art Walk as they hold a fundraiser in their pop-up location.

With a pop-up location, Laughing Dog wants to be able to come to you.

“My husband and I were sitting around talking,” George said, “and he said, ‘I think maybe Laughing Dog has gotten to a point where they need to invest in getting a pickup truck. You would have plenty of room to take stuff to the farmers market.’ ”

Liking the idea, George said she started checking Craigslist for a truck — and found something else, instead.

“I happened across a retired school bus that had been modified into an ice cream truck,” she said. “I thought maybe it’s genius.”

She said it’s the truck they want to buy; she doesn’t want a pickup truck to transport goods just to farmers markets. She wants a food truck that would serve as a mobile bakery that would only sell pre-made goods out of it. It’s a function that retrofitted school bus would be perfect for.

“We don’t need a truck that has a deep fryer or a ventilation hood or a refrigerator or plumbing,” she said. “We just need a truck with a door that opens up and a counter to talk to customers.”

So Laughing Dog Kitchen will have a pop-up location on Friday, selling their muffins and cupcakes and cookies and bundt cakes, all vegan and gluten free. They’ll have games from which people can win prizes.

“We want to get funds we can raise so we can get this truck, fix it up and start taking it to farmers markets and festivals,” George said.

Eventually, George said she wants to establish a bakery subscription service. People can sign up to get baked goods on a weekly basis. Then, she and the food truck will set up somewhere for people to come pick up their baskets of baked goods.

“Phase one is (serving) farmers markets and special events,” George said. “Phase two would be our bakery subscriptions. Phase three would be having (the food truck) set up maybe just twice a week (for regular retail sales) … that’s the ultimate goal, down the line.”

In an effort to reach this goal, Laughing Dog already has a GoFundMe page, www.gofundme.com/GF-vegan-muffintruck. Since they started that, they have raised $700 with donations by 12 people. They’re hoping to reach their $2,000 goal by the end of Friday’s fundraiser in order to purchase the truck.

“I threw it out there thinking, “what’s the harm?’ ” George said. “(The response has) been really positive.

“It’s always an awesome experience to strengthen your bonds with the people around you and find out people like to support stuff at home.”

To learn more about Laughing Dog Kitchen and their pop-up fundraiser, visit www.laughingdogkitchen.com or www.facebook.com/laughingdogkitchen.

Michelle Beahm is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublishing.com.

Laughing Dog Kitchen’s coffee cake muffin is one of their most popular items. Photo courtesy Danielle George / Laughing Dog Kitchen

Laughing Dog Kitchen’s chocolate bundt cake with coconut caramel drizzle sells like hot cakes in retail locations. Photo courtesy Danielle George / Laughing Dog Kitchen

Laughing Dog Kitchen’s cakes sell wonderfully at retail locations such as farmer’s markets and special events, including the lemon berry cake. Photo courtesy Danielle George / Laughing Dog Kitchen