Yoshito Treats began with a dog, as all good stories do. Well, two dogs, to be precise -- so this story might be twice as good as any of the other ones you’ve heard.
The most recent dog is a good girl named Sammy. Sammy was born in La Antigua, Guatemala. DNA test results, however, identify her as a European Village Dog whose forebears adapted to survive the cold winters of Scandinavia. Today, she resides with her humans in Oakland, California. Needless to say, this gal has gotten around. In spite of her tough street upbringing and Viking DNA, Sammy is a picky eater. A. Very. Picky. Eater. Humans Karina and Jon were aware of this before they adopted Sammy and the good folks at United For Animals sent Karina a recipe for treats that Sammy loved. In preparation to welcome Sammy into the family, Karina started making the treats and when picky-Viking-Guatemalan Sammy finally did arrive, Karina started making adjustments. With the initial recipe as a guide, she incorporated foods that Sammy liked and foods that Karina liked too. Tons of recipes were crafted and Sammy only approved the very best. Very quickly, Sammy was not the only doggo enjoying and demanding more of Karina’s creations and before long, Karina realized she was going to have to scale up a bit if all of the good dogs were going to get to enjoy her great treats.
And so a very tiny business was born, a business without a name.
This is where the second dog comes into our story. The other dog might’ve had a name at some point – but nobody who is alive today remembers it. That’s okay, though. This nameless dog has received generations of love because he’s not so much a dog as he is a stuffed animal – a stuffed animal dog who, like Sammy, had a very precarious start in life. This dog had first belonged to a Japanese-American boy named Yoshito who was celebrating the Christmas of 1942 in a Japanese internment camp. Yoshito’s parents’ former employers wanted to make sure he got a Christmas present and so they sent him this toy dog. Yoshito kept the dog not just for the rest of his internment but for the rest of his life. His daughter remembers the dog as a fixture of Yoshito’s home office – always kept in pride of place on the bookshelf – up until 2012 when Yoshito passed away. The dog finally left the bookshelf and found a new home with Yoshito’s daughter, Karina. (Remember her?!)
Karina would one day find herself looking for a name for her business when she’d happen upon the stuffed animal in her Oakland home. And that’s when she would remember something.
This dog belonged to her father, a man named Yoshito. Yoshito is a Japanese name that means “Good boy!”
That was it. Yoshito Treats was born – a name that reminds us of how dogs help us persevere in the darkest of times and a name that reminds us that all good boys and good girls deserve the best we can give them in return, treats included.