Dog Inspires Marie Moody of Stella & Chewy’s – $10M Business Results

by Mary Haight on October 19, 2010

I caught up with Marie Moody at Chicago’s H H Backer Christmas Pet Product Show last week, and that’s  not an easy thing to do these days!  This has been a busy and likely landmark year for the Founder and President of Stella & Chewy’s, the first raw pet food company to come up with a process that ensures their products are pathogen free (salmonella and e. coli).

In 2009, revenues were $5 Million and they are working to hit $10 Million in 2010. That’s pretty exciting for any business, especially when you start out in your New York apartment, giving away free samples on the street.  Her marketing push resulted in breaking even the next year.

The timeline of her business success is interesting – she moved to Wisconsin to get closer to the farmers who supplied her hormone and antibiotic free meat.  Talking to scientists at the esteemed University of Wisconsin’s animal science department, Moody hired two of them to come up with a process that would ensure the product was pathogen free.

In 2006 she got an SBA loan, in January 2007 she opened her new processing plant and by May all her equipment was up and running.  That was the year there were thousands of pet parents  learning tough lessons about what quality pet food meant in keeping their animals safe and healthy after historic pet food recalls. Distributors sat up at news of this US-made pathogen-free product and a deal was made that put Stella & Chewy’s in “750 stores on the East Coast” according to an Inc Magazine  article by Kimberly Weisul

Here’s the story from Marie Moody, with many thanks for her time. I know readers will enjoy this chat as much as I did:

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2 comments
Edie
Edie

What a terrific, inspirational story about how you can do good and do well -- and how ingenuity and perseverance pay off. Thanks for this, Mary!

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Glad you liked it! I love this story. How one small change you make, like adopting a dog, can set you on a completely different life path - it's the kind of thing that's good to notice - where we are in our own iives, where we are headed, and why. At least that's what I see in these stories - so many smart people with passion are out of work now. What's the difference between someone who moves forward to change their life and someone who waits for something to happen? An example? A sense that it can be done and is done all the time? Belief that a small idea is important? It would be great if posts like this might excite someone to see a new path for themselves by seeing how others have carved out their own. Thanks, Edie!

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