Meet Your Neighbors: The Lugars, Unleashed Dog Bakery

Meet your neighbors, Jenn and Chris Lugar!

Jenn and Chris own Unleashed Dog Bakery & Boutique in downtown Roanoke. 

In March 2015, they began Unleashed as a mobile bakery, and then they opened their brick and mortar store in July 2018. While the business is owned by the two of them, Jenn and Chris have endless help from Jenn’s family. They also have one part-time employee, Abby, who runs the store on weekdays. The Lugars both grew up in Roanoke.

“There’s something so special about owning a business in your own hometown,” Jenn said. “There’s a strong sense of community here, too, that you don’t find in many places.”

“It has always been a dream of mine to own my own business,” Jenn went on. “In fact, hanging in our store is a drawing of mine from elementary school of a dog bakery.” The initial goal was simply to provide natural dog treats that were free of preservatives, chemicals, or by-products. Now, though, she and Chris partner with more than 30 area small businesses to provide a unique variety of items (and are always open to new partnerships!). “I’ve always been passionate about supporting small and local businesses,” Jenn said, “and this business has given me the full control to do that.”

That’s what’s so special about the Lugars’ business — it goes beyond wholesome dog treats. When you make a purchase in the store, not only are you supporting their small business. You’re also supporting the multitude of small businesses that Unleashed partners with, as well as the local organizations the business donates to throughout the year. “Pet parents can also trust that the treats sold in our store are made in licensed and regulated kitchens, using only natural, simple, and human-grade ingredients,” said Jenn.

Running Unleashed Dog Bakery & Boutique is a delight for the Lugars. “Our customers know and appreciate the joy of experiencing the unconditional love of a dog,” Jenn said. “There’s almost an unspoken bond among pet parents because of it. We get the opportunity to not only witness this bond between our customers and their pets but to also celebrate it with our products. We also get to have our dogs, Daisy & Zoey, with us at work!”

Before opening the bakery, Jenn worked as a registrar for Roanoke County — a job she still has — and Chris continues to work for Ballast Point Brewery, so the couple stays busy! When they do have free time, however, Jenn and Chris love to spend time downtown at local restaurants and craft breweries. “And we love listening to live music whenever possible!” Jenn said.

The Lugars are continually humbled by the support of people throughout the Roanoke Valley, Jenn said. “Thank you for shopping small and supporting your local businesses and organizations! We look forward to continuing to serve the community that we know and love.”

And we are glad to have a community-centered business in Roanoke like Unleashed Dog Bakery & Boutique and great neighbors like Chris and Jenn Lugar! Next time you’re downtown, stop in at the shop (located at 131 Campbell Avenue SW, Suite D) and say hello!

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