Feeding a Revolution: Purpose, Passion, and the Paradigm Shift in Pet Nutrition

Aug 23, 2023
Featured in the August edition of Bold Journey – a place to learn the best ways to deal with challenges through the stories and experiences of others.


Meet Tina Lunalover

We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Tina Lunalover. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Tina below.

Tina, so good to have you with us today. We’ve always been impressed with folks who have a very clear sense of purpose and so maybe we can jump right in and talk about how you found your purpose?

Finding your groove in life can be a wild ride. For me, it all kicked off in 2014 when I dove deep into what my cats were actually eating. Once I switched them to raw food, the change in their health was mind-blowing. This lit a fire in me, and I knew I had to spread the word about the raw food magic for pets.

I recall being overwhelmed with trying to figure out this whole raw food thing. What I found out there in the market was disappointing. These frustrations motivated me to take things into my own hands, quite literally. I started creating raw food meals from scratch, turning my kitchen into a mini-laboratory. This wasn’t just about feeding my fur babies; I was also picturing the perfect customer experience. I had a hunch that I wasn’t alone in my struggles, and guess what? Lots of people felt the same way.

After several years, Rebel Raw emerged from my house’s confines and found its space in a commercial kitchen in Atlanta. It was a manifestation of the mission to simplify the raw food feeding process for pets, ensuring more pets lead healthier lives. Along the journey, I embraced the title of Head Rebel, a title I had never foreseen but one that was fitting, given my commitment to creating a paradigm shift in the pet food industry.

The road hasn’t always been easy. Entrepreneurship, by its very nature, is a trial-and-error process. I experienced multiple instances of investing in ideas, equipment, and methods that didn’t pan out. You can’t let such roadblocks stop you. They were merely learning curves, shaping my journey, my purpose, and the brand.

Launching Rebel Raw wasn’t just about selling a product; it was about offering an experience, promoting a philosophy, and above all, boosting health. Looking back, my purpose evolved from personal experiences, my love for all cats and dogs, and my passion to fill a glaring gap in the market. It’s a purpose that’s been molded by learning, adapting, and holding steady against all odds. Welcoming the unknown, learning from setbacks, and sticking to the mission, that’s the Rebel Raw mantra. This journey imparted a crucial lesson – while you may not have all the answers at the get-go, you just have to take the first step. Because in the journey, you’ll find your purpose, just as I found mine.

Great, so let’s take a few minutes and cover your story. What should folks know about you and what you do?

Rebel Raw is a premium pet health brand based out of Atlanta. Our core aim is to make feeding real, wholesome food to cats and dogs an absolute breeze. We’re all about producing freshly prepared meals in small batches using the finest whole foods. Every meal is carefully hand-packaged into individual portions, then frozen, ensuring our furry pals get the best in nutrition and freshness.

One of the highlights of our brand is how we’ve embraced the growing trend of consumers seeking non-processed, natural foods. As more and more people are making healthier choices for themselves, it’s a no-brainer they want the same for their beloved pets. To cater to this, not only do we offer high-quality meals, but we’ve made the entire process super convenient. Think pre-portioned meals, subscription options, and home delivery. For those residing in metro Atlanta, we personally deliver to your doorstep, and for our fellow pet lovers spread across the US, we’ve got you covered with our shipping.

But here’s the real magic of Rebel Raw: our unwavering commitment to offering a phenomenal customer experience. We understand that every pet is unique, so we meticulously hand-pack meals based on the individual weight of our customers’ pets. No need for them to fumble with measurements! Beyond our products, we take immense pride in fostering a tight-knit community. We ensure our dedicated assistants are paid a fair living wage. Furthermore, we’re deeply intertwined with our local community, proudly backing numerous animal-related charities.

In essence, Rebel Raw isn’t just a brand; it’s a movement. A movement to feed pets as nature intended and ensure their humans have a seamless, enjoyable experience doing so.

There is so much advice out there about all the different skills and qualities folks need to develop in order to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment and often it can feel overwhelming. So, if we had to break it down to just the three that matter most, which three skills or qualities would you focus on?

Reflecting on my journey, especially with founding and nurturing Rebel Raw, the three pivotal attributes that made a difference for me were:

1. Passion and Purpose: My initial dive into understanding my cats’ dietary needs and the transformative power of raw food was fueled by sheer passion. It was this fervor that sparked the inception of Rebel Raw. When you’re deeply passionate about something, it naturally pushes you to go the extra mile and make a difference.

Advice: For those starting out, identify what truly resonates with you. It’s not just about finding a gap in the market, but genuinely caring about that gap. When the going gets tough, it’s your passion that will keep you anchored and driven.

2. Customer-Centric Approach: From the frustrations I experienced sourcing raw food to ensuring every Rebel Raw meal is hand-packaged to fit individual pet weights, the focus has always been on providing exceptional customer experiences. Understanding and addressing customer needs made Rebel Raw stand out.

Advice: Listen to your audience. They’ll offer invaluable insights and feedback. Prioritize their needs, and always be ready to adapt. By ensuring your customers are at the heart of your business decisions, you’ll not only create loyalists but also ambassadors for your brand.

3. Resilience and Adaptability: Entrepreneurship is, by nature, a series of trials and errors. Throughout my journey, there were multiple instances where investments in ideas or equipment didn’t work out. However, these weren’t setbacks but learning curves.

Advice: Embrace the challenges and see failures as stepping stones. They shape your journey and refine your purpose. Stay committed to your mission, learn from every hiccup, and pivot when needed. Remember, it’s not about having all the answers from the get-go but being open to finding them along the way.

As you embark on your journey, blend these qualities with personal experiences and insights. This cocktail of passion, understanding, and resilience is what will help you carve a unique path in your chosen field.

Is there a particular challenge you are currently facing?

Absolutely, like many businesses, we’re navigating the challenges posed by the current economic climate. As people tighten their belts, discretionary spending gets reviewed, and this does impact how they allocate resources for their pets. At Rebel Raw, our commitment has always been to provide the highest quality product, crafted with top-tier ingredients. Balancing this commitment with the rising costs and the understandable budget constraints of our customers is a delicate dance.

Moreover, our business stands firmly on the pillars of integrity and fair wages. We’re proud to pay our team a living wage, ensuring they can lead comfortable lives. But this ethos, in tandem with maintaining product excellence and affordability, poses a significant challenge.

Our hope is to continue educating our customers about the long-term benefits of investing in their pets’ health while also finding innovative ways to sustainably run our business without compromising our core values. It’s a test of adaptability, creativity, and resilience.