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Our History

Download an infographic celebrating our 10 year anniversary!

2002

Lucy Postins
  • Lucy was making her dog Mosi’s food with pureed fresh ingredients.The results were great, but what a messy kitchen! How could she make food with whole, colorful and healthy ingredients – but that would be simple to prepare?
  • The answer was dehydration – removing the moisture from whole foods to make a compact, shelf-stable product.
  • Raw ingredients suppliers began shipping samples to the kitchen of Lucy's little house in Pacific Beach, California, to be blended according to various secret recipe combinations. The prototype recipe for Verve was borne.
  • Mosi’s dog park friends began to eat Verve – and the first store, Noah’s Ark in Pacific Beach, said they'd like to carry it too!
  • The search for a human food manufacturer who would agree to make this crazy, gourmet food for pets, paid off. Every ingredient supplier signed an adavit of assurance that their products were human edible to allow entry to the manufacturing plant. The first production batch of Verve was 2000 lbs. Soon, it was almost sold out.
  • The web site was set up and a test order was placed. Logging in to Paypal Lucy was amazed to and a real customer had beaten her to it! (Thanks, Linda from Virginia! We’re grateful for your order even though we lost money on the shipping!)

2003

Honest Kitchen history
  • Each batch produced was a little larger than the one before. Many of the customers who ordered in those early times, still buy the food today. Check out Lucy on the left packing boxes in the garage the night before their daughter was born!
  • The people had spoken. They wanted a diet like Verve but without the grains - and Force was dreamed up (once Mosi had given his seal of approval).

2004

    • Our first employee, Laurette (and her Dalmatian, Charlie) were hired - and they're still with us today!
    • The FDA provided a formal statement of no objection to The Honest Kitchen, permitting us to use the term “Human-grade” on our product labels.
Quality Dog Food
  • Embark was developed and introduced so puppies could eat The Honest Kitchen, too.
  • Our first cookies, Smooches, became available for dogs everywhere!
  • Rescued from Northern California and brought to San Diego by THK staff, first class on a plane - tomcat, Harry joined the team.

2005

  • We unveiled our first cat food, Prowl, as well as Preference, a dehydrated foundation diet for dogs – just veggies, fruit and nothing else.
  • We sponsored our first dog park in Pacific Beach and went to our first consumer event in Pasadena, CA – with dogs and baby in tow!

2006

  • Thrive, a limited-ingredient diet for sensitive pups was launched, by popular demand.
  • Nuzzles, duck and cherry cookies started rolling off the production line.
  • We added more staff to help keep up with demand and held our ‘new employee interviews’ in the garden! We couldn’t believe how busy we were – but still made time for trips to the beach!

2007

  • In a moment of lapsed concentration, our customer service specialist, Jenna, made one customer's day, when she ended a call by accidently saying “Bye, I love you!”
  • We launched our new eco-friendly packaging solution. Just another way to reduce our environmental pawprint!
  • Eleven human and seven canine employees helped to keep things running smoothly at THK. We moved our office to the old Wonderbread building in San Diego’s up-and-coming East Village.
San Diego Office

2008

  • Keen was launched, along with Pecks, buffalo and blueberry cookies.
  • CNBC came to visit, and the dogs stepped up to the plate, for some on-film taste testing. Check out the CNBC coverage of the Honest Kitchen.
  • Meetings at the local dog parks, a sense of doing a little something to make pets’ lives better everywhere – and taste tests galore – make life in our Kitchen just a little bit different than the usual run-of-the-mill place of work.

2009

Honest Kitchen Puppies
  • Production runs now exceed 100,000 lbs!
  • We have made our debut on Food Network's hit show,Will Work for Food, while working hard to source some exciting new raw ingredients for new product launches.
  • We moved to 100% sustainably-farmed, free-range chicken, from Petaluma Poultry in California.
  • Lucy's new Rhodesian Ridgeback baby, Taro, and Christin's baby, Ollie joined the team. For the first time ever, we had two new puppies in the office at the same time. Fortunately, between accidents, play times and general misbehavior, they took lots of long naps – and grew into two gorgeous dogs.

2010

  • We released our first recipe book, Made out of Love, with recipes to prepare for, and share with, your animal companions.
  • Our Wishes pure fish jerky treats launched – a treat for dogs and cats made from 100% dehydrated wild, line caught Icelandic Haddock.
  • Zeal, our first complete fish recipe was released. Made exclusively with wild caught, human-grade fish, became a huge hit for the fussiest of pups! Thank you, facebook fans, for helping us decide everything that would be included (and excluded) in the Zeal recipe!

2011

  • We were 16 employees strong (not counting our ten office dogs).
  • We re-designed our boxes, upgrading to a combination of recycled and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) kraft.
  • The Honest Kitchen was recognized as a “Dream Job” by Outside Magazine.
  • We expanded our herbal tea offerings for pets, adding Easy Peesy Tea and Quiet Tea to the lineup.
  • Two brand new diets also hit store shelves: Love (a grain-free beef recipe for dogs) and Grace (a grain-free turkey recipe for cats).
  • While remaining a family owned company, we took on a minority investment to raise capital that would allow us to hire new staff and expand our marketing and sales outreach.
  • We reached 50,000 facebook fans – and celebrated by giving three lucky fans 50% off all products for a year!
  • We joined GSDBA (Greater San Diego Business Association), which empowers and promotes gay and lesbian businesses, professionals, and supportive members of the gay and lesbian community.

2012

  • The Honest Kitchen celebrates our 10 year anniversary!
  • We now have 18 human employees and 26 four-legged executives.
  • We still make time for trips to the dog parks, tea time and now bring in a masseuse once a month for chair massages in our office headquarters.
  • We purchased two Public Bikes, which employees use to get around town.
  • Our first San Diego based board meeting with our fabulous investors kicked off with real boards at the beach!
  • BusinessWeek paired The Honest Kitchen’s Embark with Chardonnay for a special feature on gourmet, human-grade dog foods.
  • We released Beams (Atlantic Catfish), to complement Wishes as our crisp and clean line of pure-meat treats.

2013




  • Pro Bloom™ , an instant goat’s milk with five billion added probiotics and digestive enzymes for dogs and cats, was added to our line of products.
  • The True Stories™ Social Testimonial Sharing Platform was launched and allows customers to upload their product success stories and pet photos on the site, and share the feedback and Official True Stories Poster Pet imagery across their own social media networks.
  • We won the coveted Nexty Award, which identified us as a thought leader, innovator and “next big thing” in the natural products industry.
  • We launched our low calorie training treats, Quickies™, made from wild Icelandic line-caught haddock crafted into a tiny, bite-sized heart shape.
  • We launched Smittens™, our first pure-fish cat treat made from wild Icelandic line-caught haddock and containing just 1.1 calorie per treat.
  • Outside Magazine names The Honest Kitchen as one of America’s “Best Places to Work” in 2013 for the 3rd year in a row!

2014

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"Pet food good enough to eat - literally. " - New York Times

"Made with 'human food grade ingredients' but intended for dogs & cats." - The Wall Street Journal

"Pet's deserve human grade meals too." - The Huffington Post