Stamford youth entrepreneur pitches dog treats on ‘Shark Tank’

Ryan Kelly’s dog, Barkley, is like a member of the family — almost.

The 18-month-old beagle can’t sit at the dinner table. But, thanks to Kelly’s culinary skills, Barkley can eat as healthfully as his two-legged companion.

Barkley loves Kelly’s brand of premium, all-natural, homemade dog treats. But will the panel on ABC’s “Shark Tank?” have the same appetite to invest in them?

Find out when Kelly, the 11-year-old owner of Ryan’s Barkery, appears on the reality TV show on Friday, May 17 at 9 p.m. Kelly is the youngest entrepreneur to appear on ‘Shark Tank’ season 4.

“I’m not really nervous, maybe a little,” Kelly said of his upcoming appearance on “Shark Tank,” a program that features product pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs to a panel of potential investors. “The business is mine. I know all about it.”

Area dogs will have the chance to sample the treats the following day, noon-3 p.m., when Ryan’s Barkery makes a special visit to Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk. A portion of the proceeds will go to Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities.

Opening Ryan’s Barkery in March 2012, Kelly has made about $900 selling the dog treats door-to-door, at his lacrosse practices and at the monthly pet adoption events hosted by STARelief and Pet Assistance, a Stamford-based pet rescue organization to which he donates a portion of his profits.

Dogs can sink their teeth into one of three flavors: Peanut Butter, Pumpkin Apple and Low-fat Cheddar. An 8 ounce bag of dog treats sells for $9.50.

Kelly was inspired to bake the treats after being put off by the ingredients in a brand of processed dog biscuits that he and his mom, Daniela, had purchased for Barkley.

Kelly’s business motto? “Don’t feed your dog anything you wouldn’t eat yourself!”

Scott Gargan