Dog lovers in the Chicago area and beyond now have a unique way to treat their pets like family, thanks to the launch of Bredwell, a Barrington-based store and website that provides locally-sourced, nutritious meals that are handcrafted with each dog’s individual needs and preferences in mind. Customers can customize and purchase individual meals at the store, including a state-of-the-art kitchen where the meals are created, or they can order a two-week meal kits at www.bredwell.com.
Bredwell meals start with a highly-nutritious, proprietary-formulated Bredwell Bit, followed by restaurant-grade protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. Whether a customer is ordering online or at the store, Bredwell’s team of dog lovers and experts carefully guide every owner through the process of creating a thoughtfully-crafted meal and the best meal-time experience for their companion.
When customers make in-store purchases, they select their protein and garnish options for individual meals on the spot – “kind of like Chipotle for your dog,” says Lisa Shade, Bredwell co-founder and vice president. When they order online, they can get two weeks of meal kits, with the protein separated into servings and packaged and shipped frozen. Either way, the meals are fresh and made to order.
The Bredwell store, located at 140 S. Cook St. in downtown Barrington, opened its doors in mid-November and will celebrate with a dog-friendly grand opening event from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, just in time for the holiday shopping season. In addition to customizing individual Bredwell meals for their dog, in-store customers can purchase a number of products that are also made on site, such as Peanut Butter Smooches, Training Treats and Functional Treats that promote healthy hips and joints or skin and coat. In the coming weeks, Bredwell also will launch hydration products made in store.
Bredwell was developed by a family of passionate dog lovers, in response to the growth of the pet industry and the change in the approach to pet ownership over the past couple of years. Lisa Shade points out that people have become increasingly committed to connecting with their beloved dogs on a deeper level since the onset of the pandemic. “They don’t want to do the same transactional feeding routine into a bowl day after day,” she says. “Dogs are our family, and they give us so much. People want mealtime to be a special experience, and they want to know they’re providing the highest-quality nutrition that is just right for each dog’s specific needs.”
In spite of this, meal options for dogs are limited, according to Lisa Shade. That’s why she and her family – sister-in-law Heidi Shade and father David Shade – set out to create a highly-customized, nutritious approach to dog food. The Shade family developed Bredwell in partnership with two respected pet food veterans, Rich Rothamel and Dr. Larry Hawley, both of whom hold multiple patents in the industry.
In the Bredwell store or on the website, customers can take a quiz that asks about attributes like size, breed, age, temperament and lifestyle. This information helps target optimal nutrition for each dog, enabling Bredwell to determine the proper amount of ingredients and recommend one of four Bredwell Bits (Adult, Active, Healthy Weight or Senior). The specially-formulated Bredwell Bit is packed with 23 essential vitamins and minerals, as well as nutrients like omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, supplying complete nutrition and a satisfying crunch.
After the type and proper amount of Bredwell Bits are identified, customers can select locally-sourced, restaurant-grade protein and garnishes for their dog’s meal or meal kits. Protein options are chicken, beef, pork and salmon. Garnish options are peas, carrots and bell peppers; dried apples, cranberries and blueberries; and bacon and cheese.
When David Shade suggested his family start a business together, they decided to target the pet space, because they are dog lovers, and they saw the appeal of an option like Bredwell. In addition, the family felt the time was right, as pet ownership and spending have increased over the past two and a half years. In 2020, the pet space grew 7% to become a $30 billion industry; it is expected to grow another 5.5% in 2022 and an additional 5% in 2023. This reflects the increase in pet ownership, which in 2020 went from 67% of all U.S. households to 70%.
Featured Image: Bredwell