At Bark & Co, it’s all about the dogs.
Founded in 2012 by Carly Strife, Matt Meeker, and Henrik Werdelin, Bark & Co takes aim at the dog parent niche, building all-natural toys, producing dog-centric content, and planning events that, yes, you should bring your dog to. The ultimate goal? To become the “Disney for dogs.”
Known for its flagship brand BarkBox, a subscription service that caters to dogs and their owners, Bark & Co now oversees three additional brands — ecommerce site BarkShop, media outlet BarkPost, and dog-friendly event service BarkLive — and has surpassed a $100 million revenue run rate.
The company secured $60 million in funding in May, adding to the $17 million raised previously, and expects to double its year-over-year revenue in 2016.
Business Insider recently toured the company’s New York City headquarters to see how Bark & Co lives its brand, from massive piles of dog toys to sneaky canine treats to a regular rotation of furry coworkers. Check out what a day in the Bark & Co life is like below.
Welcome to Bark & Co's headquarters in New York City's Chinatown, home to 102 of the company's 160 employees and their pups. The dog-centric brand fills two floors of the building with an open office layout that features rows of clean white desks, two kitchens, doggie play areas, and a secret room.
Noodle, a laid-back pug, and his owner, Jonathan Graziano, one of Bark & Co's Facebook Live hosts, served as two of our tour guides for the day. 'I like some of my dog coworkers more than my human coworkers,' Graziano joked.
Banjo, another office regular, joined our tour. Though dogs roam around the office all day, employees abide by set 'off-leash' hours and keep their pooches in sight the rest of the time to prevent the office from becoming a free-for-all.
You can feel the dog-friendly vibe as soon as you walk in the door to the 6th floor of the building, from the dog treats in the makeshift lobby or the pups that come up to greet you, owners in tow.
It isn't unusual to see dog toys piled on desks, in drawers, or scattered around the office. Bark & Co's primary goal is to make dogs happy, after all.
In the other corner of the office, a sectioned-off playpen creates a space where dogs can roam leash-free.
Of course, there's an abundance of toys for the dogs play with. This pile is referred to as 'The Mountain.'
In the back corner of the office, employees -- and their dogs -- can snuggle up in these cubby holes, which are equipped with outlets and pillows, to get some work done.
An open kitchen and dining area sits immediately to the left as you walk in, complete with an oven, rows of free snacks, and beer on tap. The day we visited, one team was treated to a pizza party -- not an unusual occurrence, our guides informed us.
Bark & Co keeps the kitchen stocked with a variety of free snacks, but employees joke that they have to be careful to check if each item is intended for humans or dogs before consuming.
Adjacent to the kitchen, several closets house products Bark & Co tests out for its BarkBox subscription service and BarkShop e-commerce site.
Some products are inspired by canines who frequent the Bark & Co offices, such as Ziggy's Disco Fries, named for an employee's dog. The company puts immense effort into new products, often testing each's appeal in-house with their own dogs.
And here's Ziggy himself, lovingly dubbed the most awkward dog in the office by Bark & Co employees. Since some pets, like Ziggy, join their parents at work almost every day, coworkers get to know each dog's personality. The dogs get to know each other as well, and employees say they can tell which pups have become friends.
In October, BarkPost will release its first book, 'Dogs and Their People,' featuring stories on the incredible bonds between humans and their dogs. We found prototypes of both the human and doggie versions around the office.
Founder Henrik Werdelin always wished his house had a hidden room growing up, so he built one into the Bark & Co offices behind a bookshelf. The (not so) secret room is perfect for making a call or taking a quick respite from the busy office.
The area also features couches and workstations for human employees to get away from their desks. You never know who might come join you.
During off-leash hours, the dogs are free to run and play at will, which means some bounding all over each other ...
Since dogs stay with their owners all day, some employees find creative ways to keep them close, like this pup riding in a Baby Bjorn.
Bark and Co's signature BarkBoxes -- a monthly subscription service filled with toys, treats, and products specially tailored to dogs and their owners -- can be seen throughout the office.
One of Bark and Co.'s smallest coworkers, Edna, made an appearance when we headed down to the company's office space on the 4th floor of the building.
Hand-drawn doodles sprawl all over the walls of the office, depicting canine jokes and puns. Created by cartoonist Dave Coverly, the drawings sometimes incorporate real-life shenanigans. After a bulldog named Frank bulldozed into one of the walls, Bark & Co turned the damage into a memorable doodle.
A row of glass-paneled conference rooms line the interior wall on the 4th floor. Each room is named after a different flavour of Pizza Hut cheesy bread, including 'Parmesan' and 'Jalapeño.'
In place of a doggie playground, this floor features couches and tables where employees can gather for informal meetings or relax on their lunch breaks.
Dogs might come first at Bark & Co, but the office features several amenities catered to humans, such as quirky spaces to grab a break from your desk.
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