JustFoodForDogs, a pet food company that promises healthier pets through healthy food, has opened a 21,000-square-foot kitchen in New Castle.
The facility is only the company’s second “master kitchen” — the other is in California — and the New Castle site will serve as the core of the company’s East Coast supply chain.
Fifty employees will soon be on the job
The state-of-the-art facility is ramping up to produce about 30,000 pounds of high-quality, fresh pet food per day, and the 50 employees it aimed to hire over three years actually will be on the job within two months. Plans are for 25 more employees to join them soon.
Just Food For Dogs (JFFD) opened the facility on March 23 despite the COVID-19 crisis that has necessitated shutdowns of all but essential businesses and services in Delaware and throughout most of the United States.
Pet food manufacturers are considered essential, and the company’s plans for national expansion are progressing despite – and perhaps even because of – the pandemic.
This high volume production site is not open to the public.
“We’ve seen a huge uptick in demand – it’s part of why the new kitchen is expanding so quickly,” said JFFD Chief Executive Officer Carey Tischler. On April 7th, dog food sales were up 54% over the same period last year, and Amazon is reporting that dog food sales are up 947%.
“We believe it’s partly due to consumers stocking up on food for their pets in addition to food for themselves – and partly that this crisis is leading a lot of people to consider eating a healthier diet themselves, which encourages them to consider the same for their pets.”
According to Tischler, the company uses only fresh, whole-food ingredients certified for human consumption in veterinarian-formulated recipes that are nutritionally balanced for pets.
The company says daily meals have undergone humane, year-long in-home feeding trials that were conducted by two independent universities and supervised by veterinarians. The trials proved the recipes promote the healthy function of the immune systems of dogs.
The company also offers a line of veterinary dietary products that support kidneys, liver, weight, digestion and skin health in dogs. Snacks, such as dehydrated chicken breast and beef brisket, are also all made from ingredients certified by the USDA for human consumption.
According to the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, JFFD selected northern Delaware over New Jersey and other East Coast locations due to the state’s access to transportation infrastructure, talented workforce and competitive costs related to doing business.
The company received a $170,000 performance-based grant from the Delaware Strategic Fund.
The Pantry Fresh (Beef & Russet Potato, Chicken & White Rice, Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni, Lamb & Brown Rice) and supplements are available in select Petco locations in Delaware. Pet owners should call their individual Petco directly to inquire what products they have in stock.
The company’s full line of products, including fresh frozen daily meals, veterinary support diets available by prescription, treat and cat meals can be purchase at www.justfoodfordogs.com.