Pet Age recently spoke with Steve Mamak, co-founder of Nature Gnaws, to discuss how it addresses the necessities and trends in the treat sector.
Q What was your inspiration for co-founding Nature Gnaws with Jay Mokbel?
A Jay and I are both entrepreneurs at heart and spent a few years testing multiple business ideas. We came across this opportunity due to Jay’s experience and relationships in the meat industry. As an owner of four dogs myself, I saw the increased demand for natural products in the pet space and saw the growth in natural dog chews firsthand. We flew to South America and partnered with local farmers developing a supply chain founded on real, natural products and transparency. We wanted to create a brand where we trusted the source and ingredients for every product to bring the best quality dog chews to the market.
Q How does Nature Gnaws respond to pet owners who demand transparency with their pets’ treats?
A We believe that transparency is the cornerstone of our success. We utilized a grassroots approach sharing our story to a community of dog parents. We called the process Farm to Fur Baby, which explains the origins of our products, how they are baked, where they are inspected and committing to a 100 percent money-back guarantee. We wanted to take the lead on disrupting a market that didn’t share this information and is full of middlemen distributors. We understand pet owners want to know exactly what they are feeding their pets, where it is from and how it was made.
Q What is unique in the production of your treats?
A Jay and I are committed to keeping our products natural and untreated with chemicals used by many in this industry. That is why we developed our supply chain from the very beginning and built a process to take the meat directly to our production facilities where it is cleaned with water, baked in ovens and personally inspected by our team. We then bring the product to our packaging facility in the U.S. where it is lab tested and hand-packaged. It is important to know that we oversee all aspects of the supply chain to ensure a safe and quality product for our customers.
Q How would you describe your private label services?
A We want to make the process easy and seamless for our customer. Our company handles everything, from developing the bags, printing, packaging and even shipping. Because we are capable of taking on all aspects of the business, our clients often view us a part of their internal team. It has been a huge success for us so far and allows us to get our product into markets that we otherwise would not have been able to.
Q What support do you offer to independent pet stores?
A We aim to support and engage with pet retailers of all types. To give pet stores a better option for purchasing our product, we developed a wholesale program that gives the flexibility to purchase product as needed, without quantity restrictions and free shipping. Independent pet stores can see upward of over 60 percent margins, making us a great addition to their dog chew offerings. Our intent to support independent pet stores is a top priority. In order for these stores to thrive, it’s wise to offer natural pet chew options their customers can trust and ensure the best pricing without those distributor markups.
Q What exciting plans do you have for Nature Gnaws in the near future?
A As a young and nimble company, we are always developing new and innovative ways for our customers to enjoy our products. Nature Gnaws offers variety packs, giving consumers the ability to try a range of chew products including bully sticks, antlers, beef jerky and more. Additionally, we have holiday-themed bags, which are quite popular around Halloween and Christmas. We have also developed the Gnaw Box. Each month Nature Gnaws fans will receive a box of our favorite chews. We continue to utilize that grassroots approach, constantly listening to our customers and finding ways to improve and add to our product line.