Chris Packham endorses Natures Menu raw food diet – Pet Business World News

TV wildlife expert Chris Packham is Natures Menu’s latest fan having witnessed a difference in the overall health of his 12-year-old poodles, Itchy and Scratchy.

He said: “The difference I’ve seen in my dogs since switching to Natures Menu’s raw diet is incredible. They seem 10 years younger and the condition of their coats and teeth has improved dramatically.”

Chris’s poodles are massive fans of Natures Menu’s Country Hunter 80% Venison Superfood nuggets and Raw Duck Necks. Since noticing the difference the raw diet has made to his pets, he’s become a convert to raw and is now acting as a brand advocate for Natures Menu.

Chris is a wildlife expert, photographer and author with a passionate concern for conservation and the environment. He said: “Natures Menu’s ethos and ethics gives me the confidence I’m feeding them the best.”

Head of marketing Emily Cannon said: “Our mission has always been to create safe, convenient, complete and balanced raw meals and products for those wanting to prepare raw meals at home. We believe that real food is raw and with Chris Packham on board to help us spread the word, we’re very excited about increase in exposure this will give to diet.”

Natures Menu have been gaining a growing, loyal fan base over the past few years and other fans include leading dog trainer and behaviorist Gwen Bailey and Agility Champion Stacey Irwin-Burns.


Salad and Rakia Partners, I – ChicagoNow (blog)

Salad and Rakia Partners, I

Salad and Rakia Partners, I

The question posed to me was “What eating habit do you have that others might find strange?”

Most people have really strange eating habits. I once dated a woman who only consumed diet Mountain Dew and yogurt flavored Balance Bars. A friend of mine loves to eat raw liver and another one lives on saki and steak.

I often prefer salty snacks: smoked salmon, pickled peppers and olives. But, I also love sweets. Donuts have always been one of the most pleasurable things to eat. Discovering Indian food in the Tenderloin in San Francisco or seeking out sushi joints in Los Angeles were fun experiences and like all of my other memorable culinary moments, they involve the people that I shared them with.

It wasn’t until I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a small village in Bulgaria that eating became a way of life. Life was slow and it wasn’t uncommon to sit around a table for hours, talking, drinking and picking at food. A host could place a salad on the table and people would sip drinks and talk but it could be an hour before someone poked a cucumber slice and then rested their fork, facedown, on the side of the plate.

Salad and Rakia Partner, II

Salad and Rakia Partner, II

Despite this slow approach to dining, people ate. Their lives revolved around food, the soil that it sprouted from, the animals who provided milk and the ones who were raised to be eaten. I lived with Baba Tsetsa and Metodi who like many hard-working villagers, raised everything they consumed: chickens, melons, pigs, tomatoes, goats and garlic. The only things they consumed that they bought were beer, bread and cigarettes. Later, I would live around people who grew tobacco and made their own cigarettes and baked their own bread, leaving beer to be the only thing they had to buy.

While we had to go to the store for beer, everyone grew grapes and made their own wine. Then, when they finished the barrel, they would take the grape skins and make rakia, grape brandy. You can make rakia from apples, plums (Slivovitz), cherries, pears and a number of other fruits.

Most people also grew tomatoes and cucumbers and ate what we call a ‘Greek Salad,’ everyday. In Bulgaria though this salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, sirene (feta), onions and maybe peppers, is called a ‘Shopska Salad.’

In one of my favorite episodes of the Simpsons, the one when Lisa becomes a vegetarian, Homer taunts Lisa singing, “You don’t win friends with salad.” That is not true in Bulgaria, especially when rakia accompanies that salad.

For people who don’t grow up drinking rakia it may be an acquired taste. I did not love it at first but I loved being around people from my adopted country and grew to appreciate its cultural and culinary significance and without making a decision to do it, I had incorporated Shopska salad and rakia into my diet. Five years later, I make every effort to continue the tradition. Some things stand in the way, like the tasteless tomatoes I find in the grocery store here. No grandma in Bulgaria would ever eat some of the tomatoes we consider edible! With each bite and sip, I think of friends like Fehri and Subi, Nasko and Kontilov, Elza, Villi and Eva. I am reminded of adventures and the love of a community that welcomed me—a foreigner—with open arms.

Salad and Rakia Partners, III

Salad and Rakia Partners, III

That’s my eating habit that others might find strange. Oh, and I eat raw garlic, onions and hot peppers each day, something else I learned in the village. What eating habit do you have that others might find strange?

Keep food safe when grilling –

By Jane Rowan of the Abilene Reporter News

Cooking outdoors was once only a summer activity shared with family and friends. Now more than half of Americans say they are cooking outdoors year round. So whether the snow is blowing or the sun is shining brightly, it’s important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing foodborne illness. Use these simple guidelines recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture — Food Safety and Inspection Service for grilling food safely.

From The Store: Home First

When shopping, buy cold food like meat and poultry last, right before checkout. Separate raw meat and poultry from other food in your shopping cart. To guard against cross-contamination — which can happen when raw meat or poultry juices drip on other food — put packages of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags.

Plan to drive directly home from the grocery store. You may want to take a cooler with ice for perishables. Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours. Refrigerate within 1 hour when the temperature is above 90°F.

At home, place meat and poultry in the refrigerator immediately. Freeze poultry and ground meat that won’t be used in 1 or 2 days; freeze other meat within 4 to 5 days.

Thaw Safely

Completely thaw meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. For quicker thawing, you can microwave defrost if the food will be placed immediately on the grill.


A marinade is a savory, acidic sauce in which a food is soaked to enrich its flavor or to tenderize it. Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Poultry and cubed meat or stew meat can be marinated up to 2 days. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb roasts, chops, and steaks may be marinated up to 5 days. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it. However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria.


When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40 °F or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home.

Keep Cold Food Cold

Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill.

When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishables in a separate cooler.

Keep Everything Clean

Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent foodborne illness, don’t use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food.

If you’re eating away from home, find out if there’s a source of clean water. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning. Or pack clean cloths, and moist towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.


Precooking food partially in the microwave, oven, or stove is a good way of reducing grilling time. Just make sure that the food goes immediately on the preheated grill to complete cooking.

Cook Thoroughly

Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature.

Safe minimum internal temperatures:

Poultry: 165°F

Ground meats: 160°F

Beef, pork, lamb, and veal (steaks, roasts and chops): 145°F and allow to rest at least 3 minutes.

Never partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.


When reheating fully cooked meats like hot dogs, grill to 165°F or until steaming hot.

Keep Hot Food Hot

After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served — at 140°F or warmer. Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook. At home, the cooked meat can be kept hot in an oven set at approximately 200°F, in a chafing dish or slow cooker, or on a warming tray.

Serving the Food

When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don’t put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juices could contaminate safely cooked food. In hot weather (above 90°F), food should never sit out for more than 1 hour.


Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers. Discard any food left out more than 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are above 90°F).

Following these basic food safety practices can keep you and your family and friends safe when grilling. For more information, contact Jane Rowan — County Extension Agent/FCS at the Taylor County Extension Office, 325-672-6048 or email: [email protected]

About Jane Rowan

Jane Rowan is a free-lance writer for the Abilene Reporter-News

Shadyside Juice Café Helping To Promote Benefits Of Eating Raw – CBS Local

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Let’s face it, most of us don’t eat as healthy as we should.

Getting the right amount of veggies and other good foods into our bodies can be a challenge.

If you’re dieting, saying no to the foods that aren’t good for you is tough too.

Have you considered eating raw? Do you even know what that means?

We all know that fruits and vegetables should be part of our daily diet. They’re essential for good health, but they aren’t always what we eat.

What if you considered drinking your fruits and veggies – nothing more, with no additives, just fruits and veggies.

That’s part of eating raw.

“The juices are important because your body doesn’t have to do anything to break down the juice to get the nutrients, because there’s no fiber, so if you want to get all your nutrients, your greens for the day, you can just grab a green juice and you have all the nutrients from pounds of greens in one juice,” Living Juicy Raw Café Co-Owner Sidney Rawlings said.

Living Juicy is a raw, organic juice café in Shadyside. Rawlings, with her sister, Kelly Protho, opened the business because there weren’t a lot of options for eating raw, when she moved back to Pittsburgh.

Now, the sisters begin each day preparing the fresh fruit and veggies for the smoothies, salads and cold-pressed juices- washing kale, breaking down apples, and opening coconuts.

“We believe fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy food. This is…you can grab a juice and a salad and you have your lunch. It’s convenient. We say living juicy, where health meets convenience,” Rawlings said.

Eating raw, as it’s defined, is increasing the amount of raw food in your diet and decreasing the amount of cooked food. Rawlings said it’s not a trend, but a healthier lifestyle.

“I just think that it’s important to know that it doesn’t matter what your diet is, you can be vegan, you can be a meat eater, a vegetarian, it’s important to get as much raw food in your diet as you can,” she said.

Food that isn’t processed or heated over 112 degrees, maintains more of the vital enzymes that we all need. As food is processed or cooked, not as many enzymes are retained.
“There’s garlic, there’s fresh garlic that we press, there’s olive oil, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast and liquid amino, so it gives it a really tasty savory flavor, without any dairy and it’s all raw,” Protho said.

But, you don’t have to have only juices for a raw diet. Salads are also an option and they sell out of them every day.

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Diet change improves dog's health –

Dear Dr. Fox • My dog might have inflammatory bowel disease, and the vet wants to put him on a prescription diet for three weeks. He has been eating raw since we got him in January. I would really rather not give him kibble again, especially not one whose first ingredient is corn. Here is my dilemma in more detail:

My dog is an almost 3-year-old mutt who weighs about 27.5 pounds. We have had him since January and have been feeding him raw ground beef and chicken livers/hearts/necks and cooked sweet potato. Over the past three to four weeks, his stool has been irregular — mainly with the presence of mucus; it’s sometimes soft, and he’s had diarrhea, dark stool and a possible small amount of blood in his feces. Besides the irregular stools, he seems absolutely fine — normal behavior, appetite and water intake. A giardia test was negative. A blood test looking for the presence of something that would indicate IBD was also negative. The vet still thinks it’s IBD, and the plan is to change to a prescription diet. If that works, then we’ll leave it at that and possibly transition to other food. If not, then vet wants to biopsy for IBD.

I appreciate that the vet wants to start with diet before jumping to meds or more invasive testing. However, I would prefer not to put him on the prescription food with the first ingredient listed as corn that contains other ingredients that I would prefer not to feed my dog. The food he’s supposed to go on, starting today or ASAP, is Hill’s I/D. At the same time, I respect our vet, and part of me says I should just go along with this temporary diet to see if he improves and transition to something else after the three weeks.

So my options are to (a) just go along with the special diet that I don’t really agree with, or (b) find an alternative more wholesome, natural or homemade diet that would also help ease digestive problems, hopefully with approval from the vet. What would you do? — R.G., Ridgefield, Conn.

Dear R.G. • Some dogs do not thrive as well as others on a raw food diet. It often helps these dogs to lightly cook the food and provide digestive enzymes and probiotics. Transition your dog to my home-prepared recipe (posted on

R.G. Responds • I have been feeding my dog your recipe with turkey for the past week, and his stool is back to normal! My fingers are still crossed that it continues this way.

Visit Dr. Fox’s website at Send mail to [email protected] or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, Mo. 64106.

Press juice, vegan and raw foods cafe expands on West Side –

Press Food & Juice, a café specializing in cold-pressed juices, raw and vegan organic food, has expanded on the West Side.

Owner Esther Pica reopened her place earlier this month at 426 Rhode Island St., the space formerly occupied by Five Points Bakery, after moving from a smaller Grant Street location.

Press is an organic, vegan café whose core business is cold-pressed juices, Pica said. “We were the first juicery that did cold-pressed juices in Buffalo.”

In Press’ new larger digs, Pica has been able to expand her menu. Now there are raw dishes –whose ingredients have not been heated above about 107 degrees, to preserve nutritional value – and cooked vegan dishes, mainly soups.

Pica said her goal is offering raw and vegan dishes whose flavors and substance will make anyone happy. Menu availability can change, but recently Press offered sunflower seed falafel on chopped Israeli salad, with smoky tahini dressing ($10). (The falafel nuggets are dehydrated, not fried.)

Other choices have included zucchini pad Thai with bean sprouts and crushed cashews ($8), and an iceberg wedge salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado, coconut “bacon” and raw ranch dressing ($9).

The café is open 8 a.m-4 p.m., seven days a week. Phone: 464-3695.

Send restaurant news to [email protected]

Why Do People Want Veggie Burgers That Bleed? – Eater

Protein is one of the few food groups that rarely gets a bad rap. Unlike carbs and sugar, which have been under attack for some time now, protein is a necessary nutrient; it’s associated with energy, muscle, weight management, and satiety. America’s love of protein hasn’t changed much over the years: A 2015 survey conducted by the International Food Information Council found that ninety percent of respondents “strongly or somewhat agreed that it is important to get enough protein in their diet.”

But it’s a food group not without controversy — the American Heart Association recommends consuming fish, poultry, and beans in lieu of red meat, which has more cholesterol and saturated fat. In 2015, the World Health Organization released a study that found that processed meats and red meat cause cancer.

That doesn’t mean red meat doesn’t still have its fans: Though red meat consumption decreased over the past few decades, in recent years it’s back up. Some say the spike in consumption is the result of low beef prices, while others point to the popularity of protein-heavy, low-carb diets like Paleo.

But where that protein comes from is changing. According to a February report by Packaged Facts, consumer notions of what constitutes a good protein source are expanding to include a wider variety of plant-based protein ingredients.

A slew of modern meat alternatives are trying to capitalize that by creating juicy (even “bloody”) burgers, chicken strips, and steaks that are meant to appeal to carnivores rather than vegans and vegetarians. This new class of veggie burgers is informed by technology just as much as it is by nutrition, and incorporates lab-grown meat as well as high-tech vegetable mashes.

Why do people want meat alternatives?

The growing interest in alternative proteins can be largely attributed to a few factors: health, the environment, and animal welfare.

A spokesperson at Impossible Foods, the maker of a forthcoming burger made from lab-derived meat (more on Impossible Foods below), says the company’s aim is to “make delicious meat and dairy products from plants and thereby reduce the impact of industrial animal farming.”

[Photo: Impossible Foods]

Proponents of fake meat products say raising livestock is an inefficient use of land and water. Going vegetarian, therefore, is not only better for the human body (the World Health Organization classifies some meat products as carcinogenic), but they claim it’s better for the environment, too.

According to the Environmental Working Group, a nationwide vegetarian diet would be the equivalent of taking 46 million cars off the road, or not driving 555 billion miles. Still, it would only make a moderate dent in carbon emissions — about a 4.5 percent reduction overall.

Why is tech getting involved?

The technology sector has taken this mission on and transformed it from a personal diet or animal welfare cause into a global humanitarian issue. The attention from tech firms and venture capitalists has had an exciting effect on what was once a crunchy granola industry. Whether the burger is culled from plant matter or stem cells, technological resources, labs, and scientists are fueling this revival.

But why? According to a few venture capitalists, it’s because consumers are demanding it. “If you look at the millennial customers, they’re not really just satisfied to have a meal, they want to have a meal that they feel good about, that the sourcing of those ingredients is aligned with their values — what’s the carbon footprint? Where did it come from?” says venture capitalist Tony Conrad.

Bill Gates has invested in both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, while Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams are also investors in Beyond Meat. Google founder Sergey Brin provided some $330,000 to fund the world’s first test-tube hamburger. Peter Thiel’s foundation reportedly donated $350,000 to Modern Meadow’s bio-printed meat efforts.

“Everyone is taking note. It might be a small segment [of tech companies investing in plant-based proteins] today,” says Conrad, “but it’s a growing segment for tomorrow.”

What is lab-grown meat?

Lab-grown meat is also known as cultured meat (sometimes even “in vitro” meat), meaning it’s derived from animal cells.

Mosa Meat specializes in lab burgers made from stem cells. Their $330,000 prototype (bankrolled by Google co-founder Sergey Brin) was taste-tested live in 2013 and the company has plans to offer the meat for sale by 2020, reports the BBC.

Memphis Meats is another company growing “real meat” in small quantities using cells from cows, pigs, and chickens. “Our products are not mock meats or plant-based meats,” says Memphis Meats’ co-founder Uma Valeti. “They are real meat, grown from animal cells, without the actual animals. We recognize that people love meat because it’s delicious and affordable. Our goal is to make real meat that is better tasting and more affordable, but also safer and more sustainable.”

Valeti says that lab-grown meats don’t come with some of the downsides of traditional meat — by abstracting the animal from the process, Memphis Meats has “eliminated any chance of fecal contamination and other health risks.” He adds that the product is also more energy-efficient, as it doesn’t require the energy used to maintain a slaughterhouse. There’s that, too: animal slaughter isn’t necessary to create this meat.

The company’s first products — hot dogs, sausages, burgers, and meatballs — are now in development, and founders expect to have products to market in less than five years. Memphis fried its first-ever lab-grown meatball earlier this year — a rather pricey endeavor, considering it costs around $18,000 to produce a pound of the stuff.

Modern Meadow specializes in bio-fabricated leather — growing collagen (a protein found in skin) to create “hides.” The company hopes to do the same thing with meat eventually, though the timeline is unclear; for now, founders say they are focused on leather.

How are newer veggie burgers different from those of past decades?

The newest crop of veggie burgers (those not made from stem cells) are pretty high-tech; thanks to technological innovations, they’re able to mimic the real thing a bit better than the meat alternatives of yesteryear.

Beyond Meat is one of the more well-known players in the plant-based protein game, largely because their products already line shelves across the country. (None of the lab-grown meat companies have products for sale yet.)

[Photo: Beyond Burger]

The company’s Beyond Burger even bleeds like real meat (though in this case the red substance is actually beet juice). The Beyond Burger is entirely plant-based, but is sold in the meat section of the grocery store — a marketing ploy to get carnivores to try it, too. The primary source of protein in the burger comes from peas. According to Beyond Meat’s website, the burger was created after seven years of experimentation, not by “inventing new materials but by matching the plant equivalent and assembling it in the architecture of meat.”

Impossible Foods makes 100 percent plant-based foods — albeit ones that look and, supposedly, taste, like the real thing. The company has raised $182 million in equity so far (backers include Bill Gates) and will soon unveil its first product, the Impossible Burger. The burger is made entirely of amino acids, fats, and nutrients from plants. And it bleeds, too — but not real blood or even beet juice: Rather, the company synthesized cow blood using heme, a molecule found in hemoglobin and in some plants.

The burger will be available at select restaurants in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles later this year. According to a spokesperson, the product will make its way to grocery outlets “at some point,” once the company expands its production capacity. “Our first food is called the Impossible Burger and it’s made for true meat-lovers,” says a company spokesperson. “It starts out raw and looks, cooks, smells, sizzles, and tastes like animal-derived ground beef.

A spokesperson also says Impossible Foods’ technological approach will eventually allow it to produce plant-based versions of virtually any meat — beef, pork, chicken, or fish — as well as cheese, yogurt, milk, and cream.

How do these newer burgers taste?

The first lab-grown hamburger got high marks for its “mouth feel,” though one tester noted that the lack of fat was noticeable. Another said the flavor was akin to “an animal protein cake.”’s Ezra Klein recently tasted Impossible Foods’ burger and said it was “life-changing.”

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, food writer Mark Bittman called the taste of the vegan Impossible Burger “very impressive”; of Beyond Meat’s products, he said they will “fool you.”

Bittman did point out, however, that products made out of “powders” and other ingredients are really just “processed food” by another name. “Let’s remind people that there is real food that’s grown from the ground, and real animals that are fed real food. And if we treat them right, and we eat fewer of them, we can — not to mix metaphors — have our cake and eat it, too.”

A Timeline of Modern Burger Alternatives

Retailer of raw pet food grows fast after jumping into e-commerce – Indianapolis Business Journal

As owners of a hulking Bernese mountain dog—a breed afflicted with a high rate of cancer—Jeff and Shelli McDonald turned to raw pet foods in an effort to provide a healthy diet.

The dog, Dylan, ultimately succumbed to the disease. But what the couple gained from the experience led them in January 2015 to buy the small, local pet food company from which they had bought products.

Raw Paws Pet Inc., now located in the Park Fletcher industrial park on the west side, hardly resembles its predecessor, however. In less than two years, the McDonalds have added products and taken the business model from a regional delivery company to a full-fledged e-commerce firm delivering in 48 states.

“My and Jeff’s vision was to make it practical and affordable, and accessible,” said Shelli, 49. “We’ve changed suppliers, and everything is under our brand now.”

rop-rawpaws072516-3-15col.jpg (IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Shelli and Jeff, also 49, invested about $500,000 in the business and are expecting revenue this year of $750,000 to $800,000—a nearly 250 percent increase from last year.

The quick growth the McDonalds are experiencing mirrors a national trend. Pet owners—eating healthier themselves—want the same for their canines and felines.

In 2015, sales of raw freeze-dried dog and cat food jumped 64 percent, from $25 million to $40 million, and sales of raw frozen food rose 32 percent, from $52 million to $69 million, according to GfK, a Germany-based market research firm.

rop-rawpaws072516-1-15col.jpg (IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Sales of raw pet food still represent just a sliver of the $22 billion pet-food industry, mostly because large pet-food providers are hesitant to jump into the market mainly because of safety concerns.

Supporters of fresh pet food tout the natural diet it provides, similar to the way animals in the wild hunt prey and eat it raw. But many veterinarians warn that raw meat may expose dogs and cats—and their owners—to bacteria.

Large pet food providers “would be considering it, but there are a few challenges stalling the entry,” said Kathy Enright, CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Pet Food Institute. Its members manufacture 98 percent of the products in the market.

rawpaws-factbox.gifThe American Veterinary Medical Association has warned against feeding raw meats to cats and dogs unless it has first been cooked, pasteurized or treated in some other way to destroy pathogenic organisms.

But Dr. Bonnie Pilbeam, a veterinarian at Pets & Vets in Pendleton, who also is a Raw Paws customer, says the concerns are unwarranted.

“It has to be handled carefully; that’s one of the reasons the AVMA took the position that it did,” she said. “It’s become a point of contention, but I don’t know of anything other than the dry pet foods that have been recalled.”

Human-grade meat

The McDonalds, Jeff from West Lafayette and Shelli from Martinsville, met as sophomores at Indiana University. He graduated with a degree in business marketing and she with a degree in speech communications. They’ve been married 25 years.

Before Raw Paws, Jeff spent the bulk of his career as a co-owner of Chippery, an Austin, Texas-based manufacturer of frozen cookie dough that grew into a $50 million company. He never left Indianapolis, though, and commuted to Austin for 10 years, until Otis Spunkmeyer Inc. acquired the company in 2005.

He then bought a Weichert residential real estate franchise. He unloaded that to Carpenter Realtors when the couple bought Raw Paws.

In 2008, the two cat lovers decided to adopt a dog. Shelli had spent hours volunteering at the Humane Society of Indianapolis on the northwest side before they adopted Dylan, the Bernese mountain dog. She met another Bernese owner who, in turn, introduced her to the original owner of Raw Paws.

“I got to know the lady, and she was going to fold it or needed to sell it, so we bought the company from her,” Shelli recalled. The McDonalds declined to divulge the original owner’s name, citing a confidentiality agreement.

Changes needed to be made in the company. They brought on new suppliers and products, which the McDonalds said were not inspected and approved by the United States Dairy Association.

They now have nine vendors and offer a range of products, including frozen ground beef, chicken and turkey; freeze-dried foods; tripe; grain-free kibble; toppers; and pre-portioned patties, in addition to chews and treats.

The frozen products are 80 percent meat, 10 percent protein (from organs) and 10 percent bone (for calcium), which is considered the optimum ratio for a pet diet—but not quite for humans.

“It would be considered human grade,” Shelli said. “But as humans, we would not want to eat that.”

A five-pound tube of ground beef from Raw Paws retails for $26.99, for instance. Products are available through Amazon and on Raw Paws’ website. In July, the company began shipping to California, marking complete delivery in the continental 48 states.

Don’t expect to see Raw Paws’ products on store shelves anytime soon, however. The McDonald’s are sticking to the e-commerce model, which they say provides better interaction with customers when putting together a custom meal plan.

rop-rawpaws072516-jumpweb-15col.jpg Raw Paws packs and ships its natural pet foods from a warehouse on the west side. The company, which began shipping to California last month, now has customers in all 48 of the continental states. (IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Almost experts

The company packs and ships products from its 10,000-square-foot office and warehouse on the west side and stores frozen foods at an off-site freezer. Shipping frozen pet foods can be expensive, though, because it requires a Styrofoam container packed with dry ice. Raw Paws offers free shipping on frozen orders of $199 or more.

The expense and hassle of shipping frozen pet foods keeps many in the sector from branching out nationally.

Local competitor My Pet Carnivore Food Inc. on Shelby Street in Fountain Square ships nationally, though much of its business is conducted throughout the Midwest via vans with freezers that provide direct delivery to customers, said manager Ben Mumford.

Owners Paul and Suzanne Dijak-Robinson bought My Pet Carnivore about eight years ago and have grown it into a $2 million company.

“We’re doing pretty well and continuing to grow,” Mumford said. “I would consider us a pretty big player, in terms of regional success.”

Yet My Pet Carnivore’s growth seems to be much more steady than the explosive growth Raw Paws is enjoying.

The McDonalds hope to capitalize on the healthy-living trend to grow Raw Paws. The company’s current demographic is largely 50-year-old women making at least $100,000 annually.

“It’s kind of a Whole Foods customer set,” Jeff said.

Raw Paws has grown from just two employees to 10 and expects to add another 10 within the next year while targeting $5 million in revenue within the next three to four years.

Despite the loss of Dylan, the McDonalds own another Bernese mountain dog, Lincoln, and have adopted a Labrador retriever named Bondi. Both can be found lumbering around the Raw Paws office, where their owners are carving out space in the growing raw pet foods sector.

“It’s been a learning curve the first few months,” Jeff said, “but now we’re almost experts at it.”•

Raw food and natural materials at this new Carlton North pet store – The Weekly Review

Article Feature Image

Who’s behind the counter?

Jonathan Knight had been biding his time to find the perfect location for Cleopatra’s Pet Emporium, so when a shop came up opposite a dog park, he jumped. The dog-lover named the store after his beloved Alsatian Cleopatra. Her untimely death led him to start researching healthy pet diets, products and treatments – a project that grew into a passion and culminated in the opening of his Carlton North pet shop.

  • Cleopatra’s Pet Emporium
  • 671 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North
  • Phone: 9349 4417

What’s in store?

Don’t expect to find run-of-the-mill pet products here. Sure, the shop sells dog and cat food, collars, leashes and beds, shampoos and conditioners, but almost everything is made in Australia, with an emphasis on natural materials and holistic health. The pet emporium is dotted with pet-centric homewares – ceramics, paintings, doorstops in the form of terriers and garden benches in the shape of a rather tall sausage dog – and a giant freezer with ready-made meals for your dog made of fresh meat and vegies. Just defrost and voila.

Who’s buying?

Jonathan says he gets foot traffic from the dog park and locals passing by (naturally dogs are welcome), but because the store sells raw, human-grade pet food, people come from far and wide to get it.

“We’ve got a movement happening in the raw food community that is aimed at pets,” Jonathan says.

Our pick

Black and brass dog collar, $50, brown leather dog collar, $50, both by Rogue Royalty.

Rogue Royalty dog collars from Cleopatra’s Pet Emporium Rathdowne Street, Carlton North. Photo: Jonathan Knight


CPR's Raw Food Restaurant Comes To Life Downtown – Haute Living


There has been something of a sea change in recent years — Miami’s populace will happily go out to eat raw, healthy food and cold pressed juices as long as they are presented beautifully. That means hippies can keep their grungy markets while hipsters, yippies and even Wall Street-types flock to the next generation of health food hotspots.

Early in on this trend is “CPR” which stands for Cold-Pressed Raw. If you think of life-saving therapy when when you hear “CPR”, it’s not by accident—this food will resuscitate you. Tatiana Peisach, a young entrepreneur of 27, started the company as raw, cold pressed juice distributor. “We were focused on wholesale and we just had really good strategic partners,” she explains.

A lot of places carried the CPR juices, but Peisach felt the brand needed it’s own space. “People were drinking our juices a lot, but we weren’t creating the brand we wanted to crete and that’s why we did the retail space. It’s really given us a home”

Now they’ve got a beautiful modern restaurant downtown that serves as a destination for not just juice, but bowls, smoothies and filling salads they are calling “Naked Foods.” These are healthy, mostly raw food dishes like their famous “Zoodles,” raw zucchini noodles they serve with pesto, vegan Parmesean and cherry tomatoes.

“Everything is either wood, stainless, or cement in the store,” explains Peisach, who allows the food and juices to bring the color. Dishes like the Beet and Kale salad, Green Avocado toast on Zak the Baker bread or the Berry Zesty Pie all bring lots and lots of color.

Kale and Beet Salad
Kale and Beet Salad

Another bonus about CPR is that unlike some juice companies, a trip there won’t break the bank. “On average, a cold pressed juice is $10-$12 dollars, and we sell ours for $8.” No small difference when you consider a juice-a-day habit, which is exactly what many of her customers have after completing juice cleanses. “We’re trying to make health more accessible to our customers,” says the young entrepreneur.

Downtowners come daily with their laptops, kicking the coffee house habit for something healthier. “Going there is an experience people couldn’t have before with the brand. We are in the heart of Brickell and you have people coming to meet friends, and people coming in with their laptops and doing work and having a healthy lunch. They don’t just grab a juice and run.”

Her juice combos aren’t just there to taste good—they all do something.  “People would call and say ‘Ok, I want something for my metabolism or I’m really tired I need something thats gonna wake me up or I need something to help me focus.’ these are all specific requests I’ve had from clients,” she says, explaining that juice combinations address these needs.

Sometimes that need is cleansing. “I have cleansed thousands of people and learned from [all of] them. I realized that it was important to make it easier and simpler for people, and that’s where we are today.