What made you start Boneheads Kitchen? What’s the story behind it?
We are all dog fanatics!! Nate and Jess run Boneheads Pet Services (a local dog walking/hiking company), Michelle is one of the primary pack-masters in the boneheads crew as well as a proud fur momma in her own right (Eddie and Gus), and Tamara is a close friend who has spent many years doing all of the research she can to ensure that she is giving her best friend (Winnie) the best diet possible. When shopping around for treats to feed our dogs on the trails we weren’t satisfied with any of the available options–many are over-processed and include questionable ingredients. We started developing the recipes we use today by making small batches and taking them to the trail to let the dogs tell us if we were on the right track. We ended up with a recipe formula that is largely local meat and we use either local vegetables or brown rice (rather than filler) to give a healthy boost as well as a pleasing texture. Many of our recipes also include a blend of spices that generally help with inflammation and digestion.
What are the advantages of using actual meat in your pet treats?
Dogs are generally considered to be omnivorous to a degree which means their diet should be primarily meat with a side of healthy veggies. For this reason the bulk of our recipes is a mix of liver and lean muscle/organ meat from the same animal. We use meat from local farmers because it reduces the environmental toll and in most cases we get to see the conditions the animals were raised in! The other big factor in making treats is that the dogs need to really really like them!! Our research, carefully conducted in a lab run by labs, has informed us that the more liver and meat we put into our treats the more dogs like them 🙂
Do you have any pets a home? Tell us a bit about them!
Michelle is a fur mama to Gus and Eddie, two adorable Airedale terriers that really know how to put the fear of dog into the local rodent population. Tamara has an awfully cute Brussels Griffon mix named Winnie who has just about perfected the art of looking at you in just such a way that convinces you that you probably don’t need that last bite of whatever you’re eating. Nate and Jess have a great many dog friends in the world and one primary dog nephew named Bear who absolutely does not know his own size and regularly suffocates Nate by channeling his inner lap dog.
Why is supporting local important to you?
We have a strong sense of community and love being part of the farmers market. Buying local means you support the people around you and if nothing else local businesses are just more interesting than big national/international products. We think supporting local is important because we have seen first hand how helpful it has been for us getting started with our own business. We love using local products from people who we have been fortunate enough to build great relationships with. We feel incredibly lucky to be a part of that community with both Boneheads Kitchen and Boneheads Pet Services.
What is your favorite part about selling to a farmer’s market?
Our absolute favorite part of selling at the farmers market is meeting all the awesome dogs and their lovely parents. It really brightens our day to be able to pet all of the dogs at the market. Seriously … even if you don’t intend on buying our treats please bring your dog by to say hello and get a sample treat!