Getting To Know: Ela Made Me Do It!

What is your inspiration to create your products? How did that passion turn into a business?

My grandmother, Ela. It’s hard to put into words the endless streams of food that came out of her kitchen. Anytime that I spent in her home in Poland was in her kitchen. Nothing made me happier than to help her cook. Close second was helping in her vegetable garden where she grew so much of the ingredients she cooked with, or joining her as she visited local farms for eggs, milk and meat. She opened a big wide food-shaped door in my heart that can never be closed! More specifically, she made chicken stock daily to go into her soups. Every day, no exceptions, there was soup on the table. So naturally, my passion for soups was born!

Why is creating small batched soups important as opposed to a larger production?

For one, my suppliers are so small scale that I couldn’t cook on a massive scale even if I wanted to! When foods become mass produced, short cuts begin. It’s the small things like roasting vegetables, caramelizing onions and freshly toasting and grinding my spices that make all the difference. There is nothing more satisfying for me than the smiles on my customers faces when they taste my food, that is what I live for and why I take my time cooking my products.

What local producers do you work with to create your products?

Using meats from suppliers that treat their livestock with respect was one of the most important goals for my business. As a customer of the Coquitlam market it only made sense to use Tim and Flo’s chicken (Rockweld Farm) for my soups, broth and pot pies as it’s what I was already using in my home! There are now 3 other wonderful farmers who provide me with the meat and bones I need to create my products: Redl’s grass fed beef in my pot pies, Stony Mountain’s heritage pork bones in my ramen bone broth, and Forstbauer’s grass fed beef bones in my beef bone broth.

Why is sourcing local ingredients important for you?

Local tastes better, it’s more nutritious (long journeys on the back of a truck can degrade nutritional values of foods) and it helps stimulate our local economy! My soup flavors are definitely dictated by what is in season! When you use products that are not shipped from far away and artificially ripened you don’t need to add nearly as much salt, sugar or fats to make up for lack of flavor.

Where do you hope to see your business in the near future?

I would like to see us continuing to work with small businesses, be it new farmers and producers, or small cafes and independent grocers!

Getting To Know: Earth Paws

“It is our aim to ALWAYS put your pets first. If we offer the best products in the market, it is our belief that profit will follow suit.”

(Courtesy of Earth Paws)

Earth Paws owner Kevin Lee says after years working in the pet industry working with clients and attending various trade shows he realized there is a need for premium products that are healthy for pets.

I make products with 100% natural human grade ingredients that I feed my own pets. It is my passion and goal to ensure there are healthy options for dogs and cats all across Canada. We also put in a lot of time and research into every product we bring to market. For instance, there are at least 8 other companies in BC alone that sell Dried Sardine for dogs and cats. Our big difference is that we’re the only ones in North America, that goes through a sodium extraction process because regular dried sardines contain more sodium than the recommended daily intake for many dogs and cats.

Earth Paws strives to ensure every dog and cat owner has access to the healthiest products that will hopefully improve the overall well being of their pets but are also delicious. Kevin says high quality products for pets is just as important for them as it is for us.

(Courtesy of Earth Paws)

High quality products contain less toxins and heavy metals while containing more beneficial vitamins and minerals. Dogs and cats can survive on low quality diets but at the end of the day, they are not thriving. We want to ensure that your pets stay by your side as long as possible and as healthy as possible.

All of Earth Paws products are made along side companies that make products for humans. Kevin says by doing this, they are forced to uphold their manufacturing procedures to human standards.

Right now, there is a huge lack of regulations in the industry which is why so many companies looking to make a quick buck jumps in offering cheap products made with low quality ingredients. Our future goal is to move into the dog/cat food business as the food our pets eat directly relates to their quality of life.

(Courtesy of Earth Paws)

A portion of Earth Paws’ proceeds are donated to Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind. Kevin says when starting his business, he always knew he wanted to support those in need.

Upon doing research, I found that lots of pet products businesses donated directly to the SPCA or other shelters. Although I absolutely support these organizations, I wanted our donations to help people first. When I came across Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, I knew it was the perfect fit as we could help pay for some of the training guide dogs would need to help their human companions with visual impairments.

Looking to the future, Kevin says Earth Paws will remain privately owned so that they can continue to provide the best pet products without needing to worry about investors or shareholders.

We expect to be in every major city in Canada by the end of 2019 when we will start working on our raw diets for dogs and cats.

Learn more about some of Earths Paws products:

Dried Sardine Treats for dogs and cats: Sardines are an excellent source of proteins and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which help with brain function, heart, skin and coat health. This is why so many people feed their pets dried sardines on a daily basis. However, many dried sardines contain so much sodium that it can cause sodium poisoning and even kidney failure in our pets. This is why we go through a sodium extraction process to remove sodium levels down to 0.1% so pet owners don’t need to worry about these issues.

Sweet Potato Dental Chew: Our Sweet Potato Dental Chews are made of 100% white sweet potatoes which have lower sugars and higher dietary fiber than orange ones. Unlike any of the sweet potato treats on the market, ours feels hard as rock but is actually softer than our dog’s teeth. The removes the risk of fracturing teeth when they chew and because sweet potatoes are full of dietary fiber, it is also highly digestible.