December 26, 2013

INTERVIEW: Lucy Postins, Founder & CEO of The Honest Kitchen

I am a huge fan of The Honest Kitchen, which makes all natural dog and cat food for fur babies. See our previous coverage of The Honest Kitchen products here and here. I love that The Honest Kitchen was founded by a woman, Lucy Postins, who is also the CEO. Her mission to produce healthy, high-quality, non-GMO pet food for beloved cats and dogs has taken off into a thriving and successful business that's enabling her to really make a difference in the health and the quality of life of countless animals. Please read on for my interview with Lucy Postins!

PETITE PLANET: The Honest Kitchen has a stellar reputation for producing high-quality organic, non-GMO food for dogs and cats. What green business practices does your staff put into play daily to help sustain not only beloved pets, but the planet at large?

LUCY POSTINS: We have a vendor code of conduct and ‘pledge’ that all vendors are required to follow and sign annually, to verify that the ingredients we purchase are free of GMO’s, and verify any applicable sustainability information. A few ingredient highlights include our chicken, which is 100% free-range, sourced from Petaluma Poultry here in California. Our fish is wild and line caught, our Bolivian Quinoa is fair-trade and we use a number of organic ingredients, including all our whole grains, flax, kelp, coconut and alfalfa. We also use eco-friendly packaging, including BPA-free bags, and boxes that are recyclable or biodegradable after use.
PETITE PLANET: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect (if any) as well as the most rewarding aspect of being a woman/mom CEO?
LUCY POSTINS: I think the biggest challenge is trying to find enough hours in the day to do everything! My husband Charlie and I made a concerted effort to properly divide our time between work and family, to devote sufficient time to our children, to be home early enough to prepare a home-cooked meal and eat as a family, which is so important and something that I think is very dominant in European culture, which is where we come from. But it can definitely be challenging to get homework, fieldtrip permission slips and after-school activities coordinated. One thing that does really help to divide the day, is making time to hike with my dogs after school drop-off and before coming into the office. It’s a way to transition from Mom to CEO, to clear my head and plan the day.
PETITE PLANET: What do you believe is the most important message you can impart to your child about green living?
LUCY POSTINS: I think that one of the most important things is to emphasize the idea of being present and living life through experiences, rather than through ‘stuff’. There is so much waste with today’s modern consumerism. I cringe when they come home from birthday parties with bags of (usually Chinese) plastic rubbish that has absolutely no purpose, and it’s so hard to find information on what can even be properly recycled. We try to focus the children on the outdoors, hiking, riding our horses, tide-pooling and so on, rather than acquiring too many physical possessions. Being out in the world also helps children to appreciate that there is so much beyond themselves – plants and animals and wild spaces that need to be taken care of and respected.

PETITE PLANET: How do you come up with new products/what's your inspiration and process?
LUCY POSTINS: I mainly create products that I see a need for myself, things that I would purchase for my own dogs. At The Honest Kitchen, we always try to ensure that a product has a clear reason for being, so we’re not just creating new things for the sake of it. We also listen closely to our customers, keeping a file of all product feedback that our Customer Service team receives, and often involve customers in things like product naming, using social media as a way to communicate.
PETITE PLANET: What does the future hold for The Honest Kitchen? Any new products or developments coming down the line?
LUCY POSTINS: We have three new diets planned for summer 2014 – a new recipe with duck, as well as two new base mix diets that customers will combine with their own choice of meat or fish. We’re also working on some great new treats for later in the new year – as well as some beautiful new food packaging designs, which will debut in March!

A huge, heartfelt thank you to Lucy Postins for taking the time to answer my questions about The Honest Kitchen and life in general with such thoughtful responses! Keep up the amazing work!

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