Our story began when James was working as a corporate food buyer at the giant retailer, Target. He witnessed first hand the vast amount of food that would go unused in stores every week. He wondered how big this problem was and couldn’t believe what he found out — in the US alone over 63 million tons of food gets tossed out every year! If that wasn’t crazy enough, global food waste accounts for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions!

James took this problem to someone who *really* knows food. Mina is a puggle and absolutely food obsessed — so much that when James’ kids were learning to talk, some of their first words were, “Mina, no!” — because she’d try and swipe their meals. During dinner one night James had the “lightbulb” moment: he could rescue unused ingredients and turn them into healthy dog treats that Mina and her pals would love to devour.

There was just one problem - James had no clue how to make dog treats! Serendipitously, he met Alex at a startup event who also shared a passion for the environment, was a dog lover AND a food scientist. Alex whipped up four tasty treat flavors that were all natural, grain free and boosted with superfoods to provide health benefits while utilizing upcycled ingredients- this was no small feat.

In October 2018 the pair launched their brand with retailers nationwide. They’ve also been connecting with dog owners everywhere to better understand the specific ingredients dogs like. Once they hear the ingredient, they’re off and running to develop an upcycled supply chain to rescue that ingredient and turn it into a healthy and delicious treat!

Shameless Pets founders, James Bellow and Alex Waite holding upcycled cat and dog treats