Join us as we go beyond the label with food brands that we love at Martie. Today, we chat with Alex Waite and James Bello, co-founders of Shameless Pets, the pet food company that rescues surplus produce and turns it into upcycled dog and cat treats. To date, Shameless Pets has saved 2 million lbs of food from going to waste. Woof, woof!
Grab your Shameless Pet Treats from Martie, and read on!
Martie: What is the motivation behind Shameless Pets?
James: As a corporate food buyer at Target, I saw firsthand the vast amount of food that would go unused in stores every week. As I learned more, I realized the number one thing we can do to fight climate change is to reduce food waste. At the same time, my family’s puggle Mina, would constantly try to swipe leftovers from my family’s meals. I realized if we could repurpose ingredients into healthy pet treats, we could fight climate change while bringing joy to pets and families.
Alex: James and I met at a startup event and began talking about food waste. As a huge dog lover and with my background as a food scientist, I started thinking about delicious treat recipes using upcycled ingredients. Since we launched in 2017, we’ve been able to develop 4 lines of dog treats and 1 line of cat treats, upcycling over 2 million pounds of food to date!
James & Alex of Shameless Pets
Martie: Let’s talk food waste? Where is it coming from, and how do you get it?
Alex: Food waste comes from so many types of sources. Sometimes, it’s surplus ingredients that still have plenty of nutrients but can’t be used for the intended purpose – for example the leftover butternut squash after it’s been zoodled away. Other times, it’s misfit produce that isn’t pretty enough to sit on a grocery shelf, but still is perfectly good to eat - think jumbo blueberries or mini sweet potatoes. We prioritize working with North American suppliers and work to build upcycled supply chains for each of our treats, that are also crafted to maximize nutrition and health benefits for our pets.
Martie: We gotta know…who gets to taste-test Shameless Pets foods?
James: We work with a variety of shelters to donate our quality approved treats and make sure they get rave reviews before launching broadly. With over 1 million online reviews, we have an average 4.7 star rating - we’re proud that cats and dogs seem to really love Shameless Pets treats!
Martie: What’s in the pipeline next for Shameless Pets?
Alex: We are always crafting new treats with pet-adored ingredients, and trying to develop an upcycled supply chain to rescue those ingredients and turn them into healthy treats for your pets. Look online for our brand new Bone Broth Chews, a training treat for dogs!
Martie: Why is working with Martie important to Shameless Pets?
Alex: We love partnering with retailers who have similar missions to prevent food waste and are excited to deliver our tasty, sustainable pet treats to Martie customers!