PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (WMBD) – When it comes to feeding her furry friends, it’s only the best for Samm Hutchison.

“Our thing is if it’s natural and good for us, I’m going to be okay with the dogs too,” she said.

This past May, Hutchison opened Bear’s Boutique in Peoria Heights. Inside, all the dog and cat food, treats, seasonings and treatment care items are organic and natural. 

Hutchison said, “It’s helping everybody live their best life. It’s helping families live their best life. It’s helping their pets live their best life.”

“It has just slowly grown and grown. I go to trade stores and now we’re nationwide. We’re kind of all over the place and still growing.”

Samm Hutchison

Back in 2019, Hutchison was making single-ingredient dog treats out of her West Peoria home. Her Dogue De Bordeaux, Bear has food allergies, and he enjoys her dehydrated meat-based creations.

“He is actually our—what is it—CTO. Our chief tasting officer of the business,” laughed Hutchison.

What started as her online dog treat store Bear’s Bites, is now Bear’s Boutique, a full fledge storefront with more options to choose from. 

She said, “The smaller stores like mine, we have knowledge about our products and we care about our people and our pets. Not that big chain stores don’t, but we just take more care for our customers.”

But the impact isn’t just local. Hutchison’s products are now being sold at grooming and pet supply boutiques nationwide. And there are no signs she’s slowing down. 

“One day we’ll be a household name,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchison is also working on a few other business ventures, including treats for humans. She is also involved in her Bear’s Bites Foundation. It helps pet parents pay for emergency medical bills for their fur babies. 

Bear’s Boutique is located at 1311 E. Seiberling in Peoria Heights.