They say the key to professional success is doing what you love. For a family of pet lovers, a fur baby named Harlee served as the motivation and inspiration to start something that grew larger than they ever imagined. When you sow your seeds with love, great things can grow! And that’s how fresh pet food company NomNomNow was born.
A Puppy with a Health Problem
In 2014, Alex Jarrell and Zach Phillips wanted to bring a bundle of joy into their home, and Zach’s brother, Nate, was ready for a snuggle bug of his own, too. When Alex and Zach adopted Harlee and Nate brought home Harlee’s half-sister, Mim, things went along in a predictable puppyhood way for the first couple of months. There was playing, romping, house and obedience training, and lots of lots of love. About a year after Harlee came home, though, she started getting sick.
After a great deal of medical consultation and constant concern, Harlee was found to have a compromised immune system. This gave Harlee a host of health problems. In an effort to boost her immune system more naturally, Harlee’s vet recommended a home-prepared fresh food diet with added supplements.
Alex and Zach were happy to provide fresh food for their unwell puppy, but they discovered a problem: there weren’t any dog food companies offering fresh food for dogs. Worse yet, the commercially available dog foods they were now closely scrutinizing were found to be much the same as the kibbles and wet foods being sold to consumers since the 1960’s. They were full of fillers and ingredients that couldn’t even be pronounced, much less understood.
Cooking Fresh Food for Their Fur Baby Harlee
When Alex and Zach realized they couldn’t simply buy the fresh dog food that Harlee’s immune system required, they did what any loving pet parents would: they committed to providing it themselves. With the guidance of Harlee’s veterinarian, the couple started researching dog nutrition in preparation to start cooking meals at home. Naturally, Harlee very much enjoyed the fresh meals coming out of her parent’s kitchen but best of all, it became very clear her health started improving.
Friends and Family Want to Be Fresh Too!
When friends and family members noticed the difference in Harlee, they wanted to see the same healthy benefits in their dogs. So Alex, Zach, and Nate started cooking more food and sharing it with their loved ones. As positive feedback and the undeniable improvements in the dogs who were eating the fresh food started stacking up, the group realized that they could fill a huge gap in the pet food industry and bring some powerful changes to the life of dogs at the same time. And that’s how they decided to turn what they (and their furbabies!) loved into something bigger — NomNomNow.
Expert in Pet Nutrition Brought on Board
In order to ensure the nutritional requirements of their future pet clients would be met, the team expanded by bringing in an expert. One of less than 100 board-certified veterinary nutritionists in the country, Dr. Justin Shmalberg was exactly who NomNomNow was looking for. Shortly after, CTO Wenzhe Gao was brought on to round out the founding team, and just like that, NomNomNow was born.
Growing and Changing the Lives of Dogs
NomNomNow has expanded in terms of space and services many times over the course of their company history. What started in a home kitchen has turned into an operation with two production facilities where NomNomNow meals are cooked and delivered to dogs and cats across the country. Expanding into the pet wellness industry, NomNomNow started offering Microbiome Kits to assess pets’ microbiomes and gut health as well as a whole list of supplements and probiotics for both dogs and cats.
NomNomNow Loves Your Pets and the Earth, Too
NomNomNow cooks all meals to order on a weekly basis, resulting in zero food waste, which is great news for customers and the planet. They use eco-friendly ingredients whenever possible, including sustainably sourced tilapia and salmon. Unlike other food delivery services, all of NomNomNow’s packaging materials are completely recyclable, including thermal liners and meal pouches their food arrives in.