updated 12/04/2008 AT 5:50 PM ET
•originally published 12/04/2008 AT 10:30 AM ET
At a Malibu pool party last summer, a pregnant Ashlee Simpson-Wentz delighted over the caterer’s spread of chocolate-dipped pastries; cream-filled cookies and cupcakes piled high with pink frosting.
But she didn’t eat any of them. Instead, she took a doggie bag home for her and husband Pete Wentz’s canines, Hemingway and Rigby.
“She loved the treats,” says Rocky Keever, caterer of gourmet dog treats and owner of L.A.’s hottest new doggie food store, Three Dog Bakery in Santa Monica, Calif.
The bakery – part of an international chain – opened its flagship store in Santa Monica about a year ago and is already a massive hit with a pack of Hollywood stars: Jennifer Aniston, Marcia Cross (who orders their “pupcakes,” above, by the dozen) and Mischa Barton all love their confections, while Jewel ordered a birthday cake from them for a recent celebration with her dog, George, spelled out in rich chocolate fudge script (Three Dog’s “chocolate” is always carob, a natural ingredient that’s safe for dogs). Kate Beckinsale, Rob Schneider, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Minnie Driver, are also fans of the shop’s dog chow.
Keever, 28, an affable Kansas native, says celebs love pampering their pets as much as anyone. “I would say all-time top seller is the pupcake. Catering’s a really big thing for them, too – we get celebrities a lot for holiday parties,” Keever tells PEOPLE Pets. They’re also drawn to “close-to-the-earth” ingredients they use, such as real peanut butter, sage, canola oil, whey protein and honey.
Keever opened his store after his Maltese, George, became chronically ill at three months old. They changed his food to a Three Dog’s signature baked kibble based on a recommendation – and presto! George got better.
Walk into the boutique now and along with Keever’s wife and head chef Hannah, 25, baking fresh treats, George, now 3, greets guests from his perch on the counter. “He’s our quality control,” says Keever. “And we test everything on ourselves. We eat it all.”
Three Dog Bakery, 411 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401; (310) 260-9604