Love Your Pet started as a pet-food bakery 28 years ago, and has since evolved into a dog and cat nutrition boutique. Owner Valarie Kamdar decided to start providing raw food for dogs and cats after her golden retriever, Jackson, was accidentally poisoned. She nursed Jackson back to health by giving him raw wild meat mixed with organic vegetables – but she soon discovered that there was no product on the market that would allow pet owners to provide such healthy food to their pets on a long-term basis.
Love Your Pet has now sold raw elk, bison and venison meat to pet owners for two decades. The animals are raised in the wild – expert environmentalists manage bison herds, and Love Your Pet’s own trackers manage herds of elk and deer to protect against overpopulation. The animals are never fed hormones, antibiotics or grains. Love Your Pet also sells treats like elk antlers, beef trachea and wild-game jerky for pets to gnaw on.
Love Your Pet was a finalist for the 2018 American Small Business Championship. Stores in 10 states sell Love Your Pet products and the company has expanded their staff. Kadmar is in the process of implementing a growth plan, including forming a board of directors.
How SCORE Helped
Kamdar works with two SCORE mentors, Dan Wallace and John Pietro. Wallace has advised Kamdar on accounting and pitching, and encouraged her to apply for a small business opportunity at Goldman Sachs. Pietro helped her develop a marketing plan to drive online sales. Since working with SCORE, Kamdar has also gained confidence in public speaking.
Kamdar advises other potential small business owners, “Go to SCORE immediately. There are so many tools and resources that I didn’t know existed for 26 years, I wonder what I could have done if I had this help sooner.”