Far-Out Interview with Danna of the Groovy Dog Bakery

Danna, the baker at the Groovy Dog Bakery, has been working in the dog treat business for years. Her store specializes in all natural, wholesome dog treats to keep your pet happy and healthy. Shes embracing the changes coming to Westgate.

Can you describe the neighborhood of Westgate for me?

It’s a middle class neighborhood, mostly white. Average income is probably around $30-$60K. There’re lots of kids because there are two schools here [Joslin Elementary and Austin Montesori School within Westgate and Eden Park Academy and Cunningham Elementary nearby]. There are a lot of older homes [built in the 50s-80s] and new apartments.

Is this your ideal neighborhood to live in? Why or why not?

It could do for me. I would like to live here because transportation options from here are really good. [Transportation from Westgate is excellent because of the long bus routes crossing the neighborhood and the two major highways, 71/290 and Mopac, which form the borders of Westgate.]

Do people have any misconceptions about Westgate that you know of?

I think that a lot of people think it is closing up and that is because of the Borders, which is closing. There was also a Baby’s ‘R’ Us that closed right around the corner. Now everyone thinks Westgate is closing, which is certainly not true. Not true at all.  Especially not the stores near the Central Market. [Central Market is a large, upscale grocery store similar to Whole Foods.]

Were you surprised by anything when you first came here?

I was surprised that they put a Central Market down here in the middle of nowhere, ghetto Westgate area.

Do you think the Central Market has been a help to business?

Yes, I think it’s a big draw for the area.

Are there any bad areas around here?

No. I’ve never not felt safe.

What is one thing you would change, if you could change anything in the neighborhood?

I would repair some of the older buildings. A bunch of the older buildings in the area could be repaired to look nicer.

What are some hidden gems in the neighborhood that nobody know about?

Besides my Groovy Dog Bakery? Well, the greenbelt is so close. It’s just right there, one mile away. There’s water and fun right there for people to enjoy. Not a lot of people realize how close the greenbelt is to Westgate. A lot of local people will go down there (to the creek) with their dogs in the morning and play and then they’ll be up here at the Doggy Bakery at 10 o’clock when I open to get some water and treats for their dog. But it’s too hot for me down there now. Too hot!

Are there any disputes or developments in the area that you know of?

The closures of the stores, they’re emptying out because of the economy. It’s not good for [other stores in the Westgate area]. A lot of those closures are corporate. We really want this area to have all local stores. But still, when big stores close it’s not good. We like the small local stores here. We don’t like banks and politicians!

If you had to move to another neighborhood, where would you move?

I would move to the Riverside area near downtown. Because it’s really close to downtown, but it isn’t downtown, that’s what we want. Close, but not quite in downtown.