Mercer nursing alumni create pet business with holistic values

On the left is Kia and Daniel Pascal during Mercer’s school days. On the right is Dulces de Luna’s dog biscuit. Photo courtesy of Kia and Daniel Pascal

Nursing graduates Kia and Daniel Pascal take a holistic approach to healthcare. These beliefs are at the core of the business we created to keep pets happy and healthy.

An Atlanta couple sells handmade cat toys and gourmet pet treats made with natural ingredients through Dulces de Luna, which launched in early 2021.

Kia is from Marietta and Daniel was born in New York and raised in Carolina. Kia always wanted to be a nurse and attend a small private school in Georgia. She knew that Mercer was her place, so she ended up applying only for Mercer.

Kia and Daniel Pascal at their wedding in 2014.
Kia and Daniel Pascal at their wedding in 2014. Photo courtesy of Kia and Daniel Pascal

Daniel originally set out to study biomedical engineering and toured colleges all over the East Coast to find the best fit for him.

“When I got to Mercer, I fell in love immediately. I loved how small it was. I felt like, ‘This is like home,'” he said.

The two met at Mercer’s Macon campus in 2010 at an event organized by the national service organization Alpha Phi Omega. Kia and Daniel got to know each other when they stepped in to help someone who was injured during a pick-up game.

Kia graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Daniel took a break from his studies to join the Air Force Reserve and began a nursing program soon after returning home, completing his degree in 2019.

Kia has served as a labor and delivery nurse, an outpatient psychiatric nurse, a female surgical nurse, and a clinical instructor at the University of North Georgia, and Daniel has served as a travel and operating room nurse. Seeking diversions and settings amid the job demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, Danielle took a job as a nurse at medical technology firm Becton. bottom.

By this time, Kia had already started making crochet toys for her cat, Luna, which led to research and experimentation with pet food and treats, she said. Dulces de Luna eventually launched on Etsy, and the shop quickly became more than a hobby, says Daniel.

Pascals invested in industrial equipment and began expanding its product offerings. They also started selling their products at festivals in Georgia and making dog birthday cakes for local customers.

Kia and Daniel Pascal's cat, Luna, sits on a blanket.
Kia and Daniel Pascal’s cat Luna, the inspiration for Dulces de Luna. Photo courtesy of Kia and Daniel Pascal

Dulces de Luna’s products include charcuterie boxes for dogs and cats, dog biscuits, dried meats, dry paw balm, and crochet hats and toys for cats. Some of the best sellers are Taco Cat Toys and Bacon Jam Dog Treats.

Dulces de Luna products are different from commercial products because they use as many natural ingredients and as few additives as possible, Kia said. For example, cat toys contain straight catnip buds and are typically stuffed with raw cotton. Only vitamin E is used as a preservative. For the dog cake, Kia and Daniel use only his one type of flour and duck eggs that he collects from local farmers.

“We have been practicing natural homeopathic herbal medicine in my family for some time.

People should be aware of the ingredients in the food and treats they give their pets. Daniel says it’s important to provide your pets with the best food so they can live their best lives.

For our pets, if we can make natural treats and natural toys…these are healthier and help extend their lifespan,” Danielle said. I can provide treats, and I think that depends on your approach to medicine as a nurse.”

In the future, the Pascals hope to increase their business presence, shipping to every state and acting as a vendor at more festivals, including out-of-state events. Last year, Dulces de Luna items were sold at two of his stores in the Atlanta area, but the goal is to expand to other stores. They also work on creating natural herbal remedies for pets.

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