It's our 5 year anniversary! It seems like just yesterday we were in our kitchen measuring out meats, hoping to not lose a hand in the grinder and figuring out how to make complete and balanced meals for our cats and dog. Once we got good-ish at making food and witnessed our animals thriving, we started sharing our homemade meals with friends and family. We knew there must be other conscientious pet parents out there who wanted real food for their cats and dogs. We believed if we could make it easy and convenient to feed fresh food, they would. From that desire, Rebel Raw was conceived and born.
It's also the 1 year anniversary of operating in our commercial space. After 4 years of running Rebel Raw out of our home, and five freezers clogging up our kitchen, we were in desperate need of more room. After much stress and exhaustion dealing with banks trying to secure loans to build out a processing facility (to no avail), we were at a dead end. We considered the option of shutting the whole thing down.
The cat and dog cosmos must've really wanted us to do this because then, quite randomly and unexpectedly, we found the perfect space. While waiting in line at the cardboard box warehouse, another customer started talking to us. We mentioned we made pet food and what we had gone through over the previous year in looking to expand our business. He surprised us by saying he knew of a space that sounded like what we were looking for. Deflated and discouraged from the past year's experiences, we expected it not to work out but we took a look anyway. It was perfect.
Our new space was conveniently located a mile and a half from our house and most importantly, would not require a $150,000+ build out. We had already played the bank loan game and lost, so we knew we had to figure out how to build our facility and buy equipment on our own.
Matt sold his Subaru, luckily Tina saved some Apple stock from her Apple manager days that we sold, we signed up for business credit cards and set up a GoFundMe to buy our walk-in refrigerator and freezer, commercial meat grinder, shelving and other equipment. We were excited to finally get Rebel Raw up and running in an official FDA food processing facility.
It's been a whirlwind first year in our facility and an amazing five years overall. We're even more committed to our original mission of making it easy to feed real food so that cats and dogs can live healthier and happier lives. Your support, all of your heartfelt testaments and reviews detailing the positive results from feeding our food has been extraordinary and is what keeps us going. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
We are incredibly fortunate to have the help of some very special people. We couldn't do it without these folks and we are eternally grateful for our small and passionate team: Tina's mother, "The Kwon", Matt's brother, Jacob, and our close friend Coleen @curley_coleen. Thank you immensely.