Are you a shameless seamless junky? Aside from occasionally sharing fries with Fido—he looks so cute when he begs—you probably enjoy your takeout while your pup has his usual kibble meal.
But PetPlate is here to change that. The Blue Apron of dog food without the prep, this startup is bringing affordable, healthy, customized food to your dog’s plate (granted you’re in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens—more expansion to come). Sign up, and the pet concierge will drop off fresh-cooked meals (never more than a day old when it hits your pooch’s plate) at home, doggy daycare, or wherever your hungry canine might be. What else could a busy, health-conscious dog owner want?
PetPlate started when founder, Renaldo Webb, was a consultant for a private equity firm. His clients were the big dogs in pet food, and he was brought in to clean up their messes. While on the factory floor, Renaldo saw exactly why dogs were in poor health. Like people, they were being fed processed, low-quality ingredients, often shipped over from Asia. Kibble also has a 2-3 year shelf life—not exactly fresh and healthy. What’s worse, the $20 billion+ pet food industry is largely unregulated, so when cross-contaminated and Salmonella-plagued products arise, they are only voluntarily recalled. Renaldo saw firsthand that the industry, and our dogs’ health, needed a change.
He began cooking for his roommate’s dog with skin allergies, and his own dog, Winston. Renaldo has a history of seeing where needs haven’t been met, and positively affecting those communities head-on. He started two non-profits in college, one encouraging the education of minority youth, and another bringing renewable energy to developing countries. Now, he believed boosting the health of beloved dogs might be his next calling.
He enlisted the help of a Cornell University vet, a co-founder, Jack, opened a commercial kitchen in Brooklyn stocked with human quality food—the same as those used by local restaurants around the city—and got cooking. Yes, the $16 kale salad you ate for lunch is the same kale Fido could be munching on at doggy daycare. Renaldo refined his recipes and PetPlate was born. Then, Renaldo carefully called in the help of local kitchens, cooking up a menu that covers all of the bases. There are options for different tastes and budgets, a grain-free meal plan, and a hypoallergenic plan that was just launched. Soon, PetPlate will be working with farms directly for their fresh produce.
What about those other fresh dog meals at your local doggy boutique? Certainly, there are plenty of products on pet store shelves that claim to be healthful options. But really, they’re still missing the mark; even though refrigerated and seemingly fresh, these products still have fillers, preservatives, and mystery meats. PetPlate caters to dog owners that are health-conscious, preferring organic and shunning preservatives, but invites any owner focused on their dog’s happiness and longevity.
Renaldo, who admits to throwing some Sriracha on PetPlate food for dinner when running the company gets busy, is a hands-on kind of startup founder, along with Jack. They both carry out deliveries and oversee the kitchen for quality control. Renaldo is taking hits and going with it, making runs during snowstorms and getting bit by a feisty little Pomeranian on delivery duty (although now that the Pom knows Renaldo brings food, they’re good friends).
Ready to get Fido fed? Pick a plan, a day and time, and meal variety, like beef and couscous, or chicken and pumpkin (a great superfood), and Renaldo and Jack will be on their way. Fido will be leaner and happier in no time!
Have a cat, too? Don’t worry, PetPlate has a kitty menu in the works.
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