This all-natural pet food company helps people make quality nutritional decisions for their dogs and cats.
Canadian-born Jeff Baikie and Howard Bloxam became friends when they were 12 years old, and playing on the same hockey team. They took separate paths when they grew up, but their bond remained strong. In the early 1990s, Howard and Jeff reconnected – not to play hockey this time, but to start a business together. In 1996, they founded Redbarn Pet Products, a company dedicated to making pet foods using only top quality ingredients.
“When Redbarn started, the pet food industry was a very different place,” says Allison Arcos, media marketing manager. “People weren’t researching the ingredient panels of their pets’ food and natural products were few and far between.” Despite the shortage of educated consumers, Jeff and Howard remained committed to developing all-natural products with limited ingredients. Before long, this dedication to quality was recognized and appreciated by dog parents across the country, and by 2010, the company was thriving.
To better fill the growing demand for their food and treats, Jeff and Howard purchased a former ham factory in Great Bend, Kansas; the facility includes a state-of-the-art water treatment system designed to return only clean water to the earth. Three years later, Redbarn expanded its market to cater to cats as well as dogs, introducing a grain-free line just for felines. Today, Redbarn offers over 200 high quality products for dogs and cats, including rolled and canned foods, as well as bully sticks, bones and many other delectable treats.
To ensure it produces only the best food and treats, the company sources every one of its ingredients from trusted partners in the US. Redbarn also has a quality assurance program designed to ensure the safety, legality and quality of everything they produce – starting with the manufacturing process. “This is the most robust function and encompasses most of the testing we do,” says Allison. “We have an in-house lab where we do microbiological testing, and we test for common pathogens, check water activity, and pH levels.” Meanwhile, a dedicated legal team checks each product to ensure its weight matches that listed on the package, while techs patrol the production floor to account for visual quality, and to make sure all procedures are being properly followed.
“It’s about more than just holding ourselves accountable,” says Allison. “Part of what we do is to look outside our organization to verify our quality standards.” And according to Allison, the peace of mind that comes from producing high-quality pet foods and treats is one of the most satisfying aspects of her job. “Redbarn has a mission to make products that don’t just speak to consumers’ desires and trends, but also help support the health of their pets,” she adds. “It’s incredibly rewarding to make foods and treats that people trust and their pets enjoy.”