Beth Ann Schroeder said her jerky treats for dogs and cats are fit for human consumption, but humans probably wouldn’t like the way they taste. “But dogs love them,” she added.
“All you have to do is say the word ‘jerky’ around my dog Harper and she come running,” Schroeder said.
A believer that humans and their pets do best on a natural, unprocessed diet, Schroeder was shopping at Corrina’s Corner, a nutrition-focused market for pets in Decatur, when through a conversation with its owner, Jacques Duplantier, she decided to try making dog treats.
“A lot of the pet treats sold in this country are made in China. We can’t be sure what’s in them and animals have been known to get sick from eating them,” she said.
The result of Schroeder’s interest in natural animal treats is Pure Bark, a pet jerky made from Department of Agriculture approved chicken with no artificial colors or flavors and no hormones or preservatives. Schroeder plans to introduce a version made with salmon later this summer. “Cats should like that especially,” she said, “but they like the chicken jerky, too.”
The treats have to be refrigerated after the bag has been opened, Schroeder explained, noting that they are sold in 3 ½ ounce bags that contain approximately 35 treats. They are good for up to six weeks after the package has been opened.
Schroeder still works at her full-time job with a study abroad company while she pursues what she describes as a longtime dream to be an entrepreneur. She started work on a recipe for pet jerky in January and through trial and error developed a product that she’s satisfied with. She also designed the packaging and logo. The business launched in May, offering the product exclusively through Corrina’s Corner’s retail location through the summer. After that it also will be available online. She said there is nothing else like Pure Bark available in the Atlanta area.
Both businesses—Pure Bark and Corrina’s Corner—are “part of a larger trend in the pet industry moving away from commercially prepared products for dogs and cats because of exponentially increasing health problems in pets due to poor nutrition,” Schroeder said.
“So many people are living lifestyles where a limited, unprocessed diet is essential,” she said, noting that she follows a “Paleo” diet. “My thought was that their dogs should as well. By keeping production local, transparent and non-commercial, we are ensuring that even the treats we give our pets are the healthiest possible.”
Duplantier, who started his business offering fresh, unprocessed pet food after seeing how it restored health to his rescued dog, said, “The operating presumption is that pet goods have to be finished, processed products or on the other end of the spectrum, that making your pet’s food is inconvenient and expensive. Neither has to be true. We will revolutionize the way people think of pet retail by making natural, holistic feeding accessible to all.”
The Corrina’s Corner owner called Pure Bark “a perfect fit for our business model. Our business is premised on selling locally produced fresh raw and cooked pet food that has avoided the toxins and fillers added in the commercial process to cut costs and make pet food convenient for people,” he said. “Having a treat that follows this same model just makes sense in the store.”
Schroeder suggested that July 12, National Jerky Day, would be the perfect time to give Pure Bark a try.
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