WILMINGTON, Del., April 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- JustFoodForDogs (JFFD), maker of the number one veterinarian-recommended fresh food for pets, has opened a 21,000-square-foot master kitchen that will serve as the core of its East Coast supply chain in New Castle, Delaware. 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.
JFFD opened Rey's Kitchen, named for the company's Chief Medical Officer's dog, 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.
"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. "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."
JFFD's mission is to provide a better quality of life for pets through nutrition. According to Tischler, the company achieves their goals by using only fresh, whole-food ingredients certified for human consumption in veterinarian-formulated recipes that are nutritionally balanced for pets. JFFD's daily meals underwent 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 a line of veterinary support diets that are prescribed by veterinarians and designed to meet key nutritional factors and that support kidneys, liver, weight, digestion and skin health in dogs. Additionally, the veterinary team creates custom diets for dogs and cats who have complex needs. Snacks, such as dehydrated chicken breast, beef brisket and more, are also all made from ingredients certified by the USDA for human consumption.
To complement the healthy diets and snacks, supplements designed by the company's board-certified veterinary toxicologist round out total pet wellness. The supplements address many of the most common ailments found in dogs, from enhancing calm behavior to helping with joint disease, skin conditions, allergies and inflammatory conditions.
Rey's Kitchen mirrors JFFD's original West Coast master kitchen in California. It also is only the second such facility among the company's sites, which include eight open-to-the-public retail kitchens and more than 200 pantries that are located within veterinary clinics and retailers such as Petco and staffed by veterinarian-trained nutritional consultants.
JFFD selected Northern Delaware over New Jersey and other East Coast locations due to the state's access to transportation infrastructure, a talented workforce and competitive costs related to doing business. The company received a $170,000 performance-based grant from the Delaware Strategic Fund.
"Rey's Kitchen will be incredibly important to our growth," Tischler said. "We currently have about 40 retail locations in the Greater New York metro area, and we plan to keep increasing that number in partnership with veterinary hospitals and strategic retailers. In time, 2021 and beyond, we'll be exploring expanding into Boston, Philadelphia, more of Delaware and Washington, D.C."
Created in 2017, Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) brings together the resources, commitment and energy of both public and private sectors to attract, grow and retain companies; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support private employers in identifying, recruiting and developing talent in the state of Delaware. For more information, visit choosedelaware.com.
SOURCE Delaware Prosperity Partnership