Below is an interview that was conducted with Margaret Kolodziejczyk, owner of Hound Fresh Dog Food.
When was it started?
Hound Fresh first went to market in the fall of 2016, after about a year of planning and perfecting the recipe.
My own beloved dog, Comrade, was my inspiration. When I adopted him several years ago he was struggling with allergies and skin issues. Medicines and supplements never really did the trick so I began to research fresh food diets. Nutrition is so important for our pets, admittedly more so than I realized. I started to cook up special meals for Comrade and saw almost immediately what a huge difference this diet made in him. Too many foods on the market claim to be healthy but those claims too often fall short of the truth.
How many clients do you have currently?
There are currently about a dozen subscription customers. Individual portions are for sale now at Horsefeathers Winter Market. So much interest coming from there!
A happy, healthy dog is a wonderful pet and for so many of us dog lovers, also truly a part of one’s family. These days we’re all so much more concerned about what and how we feed ourselves, and how these choices are about more than just lifestyle. It’s natural that this thinking would apply to ALL our loved ones! Hound Fresh customers understand that a diet made of fresh food is one of the most important things you can do for your dog. We know ourselves that it is impossible to thrive on a diet of highly processed foods. And it’s no different for dogs. The range of substandard ingredients that are allowed in many brand name dog foods would shock any pet owner: “meat-meal”, for example, which is simply another term for the dreaded 4Ds of commercial dog food: dead, diseased, dying or disabled animals. Hound Fresh is serious about providing only fresh, natural food for dogs.
How do you break into a market that is so saturated with dog foods?
Hound Fresh is all about fresh, wholesome, human-grade dog food delivered to your doorstep. We take pride in knowing all of our dogs by name, their birthdays and their fun facts! Every dog is an individual and we love having an actual relationship with our customers. This individualized attention, and a unique subscription service, is what sets Hound Fresh apart. Our food subscription service works in the following way:
1. Our customer chooses a meal plan based on their dog’s weight.
2. Meals are cooked fresh to order in our USDA/FDA inspected kitchen.
3. Meals are delivered every Monday directly tor your doorstep.
All meals are individually customized and pre-portioned. Just open and serve! Hound Fresh takes all the work out of feeding your dog a healthy, well-balanced meal.
What is the food like? Where do you source your ingredients?
Hound Fresh is made with human-grade ingredients. You can literally eat it yourself! We ONLY use all natural chicken that is free of steroids or antibiotics; fresh vegetables and fruits; organic coconut oil; and organic seeds. You will never find by-products, rendered meat, preservatives, “meat meal”, grains, fillers, artificial flavors or sugar in Hound Fresh. Our food is cooked gently to retain as many healthy nutrients as possible. Food is cooked once a week to ensure freshness, is always delivered within 24 hours of cooking and is never deep frozen.
Is this affordable for the Average Joe and Joanne?
Hound Fresh costs slightly more than a brand-name premium dog food. Personally, I found that you pay in feeding high quality food, you save in vet bills. Meals start as low as $1.10 for a 10lb dog, with a weekly full-time subscription price of $15.50. Part-time subscriptions run around $8.
How much room does one need in a refrigerator? Or freezer? Obviously depending on the dog’s size… what else as far as storage?
This does depend somewhat on the size of one’s dog but remember, Hound Fresh is delivered weekly so storage space is minimal. All meals are packed in small containers, clearly labeled and pre-portioned by day. Even for our larger dogs, refrigerator storage space is minimal. We suggest to keep the end of a week’s supply in the freezer to retain its freshness. Simply thaw Hound Fresh the night before serving.
Will you be working with any pet stores?
For now, Hound Fresh operates strictly as direct to consumer. Orders can be placed at www.houndfresh.com and in person at Horsefeathers Winter Market.
How do you know if the food is certified to be healthy for dogs?
So much goes into the proper formulation of Hound Fresh, which was specifically formulated to meet all the requirements of AAFCO and the NRC. Hound Fresh has been lab tested to ensure that it is nutritionally complete.
What’s next for your business?
This summer we look forward to growing our business. There’s been such a great response from dogs and their owners! I am so excited to continue to bring amazing food to the dogs of Buffalo.