Our featured business this week is EarthPup, an eco-conscious pet food company that creates guilt-free treats for your furry friend! We spoke to Lucy Cullen, Founder and CEO of EarthPup to learn more!
What is your business called and what does it do?
EarthPup makes eco-conscious dog treats that are better for the planet, and better for your pup. Each bag of all-natural treats rescues nearly half a pound of surplus vegetables from going to landfill and a portion of proceeds go to re-homing rescue dogs.
What made you want to do this work?
I spent 5 years building my first business, Terus. Terus was a sustainability consulting company that helped restaurants reduce waste, and save money. According to the FAO, over 1/3 of food is wasted globally! We diverted over 200,000 pounds of waste from landfill, which I’m very proud of. I was helping other businesses to reduce waste, but I was really interested in developing a product that would directly address the global issue of food waste. We have a broken food system, and we need to do more, faster. I also have always wanted to do something that would help rescue dogs… I just never knew what it was. The idea of diverting vegetables from landfill, to make dog treats came to me when I was sitting in a cafe. And it seemed perfect! In June 2019, we started testing recipes, launched in September, and now in September 2020, we are in 41 retailers across Canada.
What problem does this solve?
We are addressing three issues:
- Food waste: According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, food waste is responsible for 8% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and $49.5B worth of food is lost or wasted in Canada each year. Each bag of all-natural EarthPup dog treats rescues half a pound of surplus vegetables that would otherwise go to landfill. To date, we have diverted +750 pounds of vegetables from landfill.
- Stray dogs and animal abuse: EarthPup donates to Coveted Canines who rescue dogs that are at high risk of being euthanized or abused, and Friends of Humane Society International (FHSI) who have international and local dog rescue efforts. To date, FHSI has rescued 1600 dogs from Canadian puppy mills, 300 dogs from hoarders in Canada and 600 dogs from dog meat farms.
- Plastic waste: According to the United Nations, only 9% of plastic gets recycled globally. EarthPup is proud to be Canada’s first plastic negative pet food company, offsetting 200% of the plastic we use in our operations! Learn more about our plastic negative process here.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Any dog owner looking to make a difference in the world!
How does your business make money? How does it work?
We sell dog treats by the pouch online and in retail, and donate a portion of sales to our social and environmental partners who are making a positive difference in the world.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
We have some amazing retailers in Toronto. You can find your nearest store here.
Otherwise, you can purchase EarthPup treats online.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?
How are these eco-conscious?
We love when customers ask us questions! They are eco-conscious because we are considering the environmental and social impact with every decision made. Each bag rescues nearly half a pound of surplus vegetables from going to landfill, a portion of proceeds goes towards rehoming rescue dogs AND your purchase will be plastic negative!
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
Best: Seeing dogs love our treats and the numbers go up of our impact to date.
Worst: Not being able to play with every single adorable EarthPuppy.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
You’re the boss, you don’t have to work today!
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?
Every independent restaurant! I worked in restaurants for 8 years and am feeling for the industry right now. Please go support independent restaurants like Richmond Station, Café Cancan or your favorite neighbourhood spot. Have a nice meal, buy wine and tip generously. They need your support now more than ever.