As a society we have become very aware of the food we eat. Fast food chains and restaurants have labeled the calorie count on all their food items to give people an idea of how many calories they are consuming with their everyday snack or meal. We are constantly reminded of the dangers of artificial foods (food’s whose ingredients sound more like a chemistry quiz than a recognizable food item) and their risk to our health. There seems to be a push for getting back to the way things used to be: more pure, simple and homegrown. No trans-fats, no added sugar, no artificial flavours and, of course, all natural are all advertisements we enjoy seeing on our food packaging. So, it is not a huge leap to think that if we are becoming more aware of the things we are consuming for ourselves, that we would also consider what we are feeding our furry BFF’s. It is an old rule that if you can’t pronounce the ingredients in your food, you probably shouldn’t eat it (what is corn maltodextrin anyway?). From canned foods to packaged snacks, it is important to read the labels and know where your food is coming from; both human and doggie alike.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Crumps’ Naturals power couple in the dog treats industry Joe and Margot Crump. The Crumps realized that there wasn’t much by way of single ingredient healthy pet treats and decided to hone in on the important ingredients that make a brand successful; quality, proximity, family and, of course, opportunity. Having started small in their Caledon garage, Margot chopped, cooked and packaged liver endlessly when she wasn’t working as a full time mother of four (and yes, it IS a full time job and it ONLY pays in hugs and thank you’s), while Joe ran the sales side of the business. With only a 20’ cube van truck, one commercial oven, refrigerator and meat slicer this duo began on their entrepreneurial adventure. Dashing from trade show to trade show across Canada and the US, they began to build their name in the pet food industry. Low and behold their name and their order size grew, and so did their need for a larger facility. Their garage grew larger in order to accommodate the “pup-lic’s” need for tasty, healthy snacks! In 2010 they moved production from home to a 6000 square foot facility. In just two years they renovated their facility to meet the best in safety standards. In 2014, they obtained a Global Food Safety Certification, which is uncommon for small businesses. They pride themselves on keeping food safety as the cornerstone of their pet food philosophy.
Another push in today’s society is eating local to support our local farmers and our economy. That’s why I appreciate the fact that Crumps’ Naturals ingredients are sourced in Canada and the United States and are processed here in Brampton, Ontario. They have employed 65 local people working hard to ensure the highest in pet food safety.
If they had opened a “Mom and Pop’s” style restaurant for pups, this would have definitely been a pooch eatery favourite! Having added new products over the years such as sweet potato, chicken and lamb, the Crump’s cook everything in small batches to ensure the freshness and quality of their tasty treats.
Little is left to waste at the Crump factory. Excess food that doesn’t get packaged is donated to non-profits who support dogs in need. Their generosity and compassion however, is not “pup” sided. They haven’t forgotten the human community’s struggles and are aware that people’s needs do not just occur around the holidays, but all year round. The Daily Bread Food Bank is just one example of the charities they donate to.
Over the years the Crump brand has grown in assortment and volume but the one thing that won’t change no matter how big their facilities get, is the close family feel within the company. Even the Crump kids are helping to bring healthy treats to K-9’s! It’s obvious that the Crump’s company not only has passion for pups, but also has a warm heart at its core. They pride themselves on keeping the close family-led vibe of their once small operation, in their booming business, as well as to their community and their love of pups!