A Beautiful Email


A couple of days ago I received this beautiful email. The thought, memories, and love that went into this email warmed my heart this season and I wanted to share it with all of you along with the photos. Happy Holidays everyone.



Samantha Vaccaro
Wed, Dec 18, 11:47 AM 
to me

Dear Carla,

The holiday is a time to share moments of gratitude, and I wanted to express how much I appreciate your creativity and services as you close another year of small business operation with, as I imagine it to be a success.

I still recall how I found my way to meet you.

Much like anyone meets another these days – because of our love of dogs, shared passion for creativity, and Instagram. Oh wait, not everyone meets that way?

Well, that’s how we met. At least, that’s my side of the story because it’s how I found you.

I moved to SF in the Fall of 2015 and had just started Poppy’s Instagram the following year just before she turned a year old. In November 2016, her account was barely 4 months old and she had only a couple hundred local-to-SF followers when we were invited to a party for a dog-based start-up company. I was looking to meet new people and missing the creative community I had back home in NYC. I walked into the space and was beyond impressed. You had not only created a multi-tier custom dog cake with fondant icing for the event but had also prepared all of the puppetizers. I almost ate them, that’s how appealing they looked. Muttballs, Pawfaits, custom cookies and more. I don’t even remember taking a single photo that night, yet I clearly don’t need a digital record to remember the details of the event because the food and presentation was that memorable. Everyone wanted to know who catered the dog food! That is when I started my investigation to find out who the team was behind the pawfaits.

I found your information online and signed up for emails.

Shortly after that event, I received a “Last Chance” notice to order a “K9 Thanksgiving meal,” and since I was not traveling back home to the East Coast, I thought it was the PAWfect opportunity to place my first order with PawPatch. You made it happen with almost no days to spare. There was an “apple roasted turkey” and “raspberry bison muttloaf” option, and I chose Turkey. I remember picking it up from your then-location in a little shop in Mission where you worked tirelessly to make everything so special for each fur baby and its parents. The presentation was “pawfect.”

I became well acquainted with the history behind you and your small business throughout the following year. Not that you don’t already know but in case you share this as a testimonial, I want everyone to know and I want you to know I recognize and appreciate all of these qualities that distinguish you from … well, there’s no competition in your space. You graduated from culinary school and have a professional background in food preparation. You care about all dogs and your clients, as you refer to us, and have full transparency with ingredients that are sourced through professional food services and are prepared in a compliant kitchen, just as one would expect for a business selling human food. You continue to be authentic, in all that you do, and as you expand and grow, you have maintained your commitment to quality and safety, including removal of wheat, grain and gums from your cakes and never compromising on ingredients to save costs. You’ve done your research and have the education to support the preparation of human-grade dog food and pastries, which we all appreciate. You’re a true artist who is authentic and unique, sourcing from your own creativity and inspiration and the planning you do with your clients. You will stay up into the early hours of the morning fitting in a last-minute client or special order making things absolutely perfect. Most important, you are a dedicated small business owner who has never scaled beyond her capabilities to ensure you can continue serving the dog community with your gift, and always delivers on time.

Since I have my own background in project management, healthcare, event planning, and a lengthy tenure in the creative space, I know how rare this combination of skills are in the world. Every cake you design, you aim to perfect better than the previous and your commitment to excellence is unrivaled. I have traveled across the US to so many cities with Poppy, have seen other businesses on social media, and heard from so many people that there truly is no competition for your products. Yet, you are nestled in my little corner of the world and I know I speak for all of your clients when I write that we are that lucky to have you in San Francisco.

As my followers grew and the world of Instagram led me to attend dog birthday parties ‘IRL,’ I was introduced to dog pastries. Some people (though no client of yours’) may ask, “Dog Birthday Cakes. Is this a thing?” For those of us who consider our dogs part of our family, our best friend, our fur child, or all of the above, yes… it’s a thing. Some of us don’t have children, some of us view our dogs as children, and some of us love our dogs as another child in the family. You know this about each of us and consider clients an extension of your pack, your family, and your creativity as you involve us in the planning. And you make the best ones. In fact, people in NY told me to fly Poppy’s birthday cake home this year because I wouldn’t find close to anything that good in the tri-state area. They were right.

These all the reasons why when it came time to plan Poppy’s wedding to Prince, there was no one else I would ask to make the cake for the event. You created the most magnificent triple tiered fondant icing cake with one layer each of Duck, Bacon and Peanut Butter plus gift bags for all of my guests. The cake looked so good that a few of the human guests actually dipped their forks into try. It looked better than most cakes at human weddings I’ve attended. Half the guests had flown from NY and everyone was beyond impressed with the impeccable detail, quality, and presentation. It belonged on the cover of a magazine. And then… it made it there by a random social media discovery by a woman in London. A media outlet in the UK contacted Prince’s mom, Sara, to interview us and we knew photos of the cake would be a hit with all who viewed it.

Each year you continue to surprise me. We have now worked to create cakes for both Poppy and her out of town friends, Valentine’s Day surprises for Prince and Poppy when he is visiting the Bay Area, gifts for friends back in NY when I travel to visit home, designed events and custom treats to raise money for nonprofits, and more. I’ve ordered all three of your Thanksgiving Meals as of this year, and Poppy loves them all. I cannot wait to see what next year brings and support you through your continued success.

This holiday season I just wanted to share my appreciation for your gift as it is a gift that you share with all of us throughout the year. I wanted to thank you for your hard efforts, your sleepless nights, and your devotion to furry friends. They do not go unnoticed. Thank you again and have a Merry Christmas.


Sam and Poppy, your FUR-ever Friends