["Our ingredients are simple, understandable and few.", "Each recipe is tested, refined and retested until we’re satisfied we’ve met our own high standards for excellence."]

Raw Bistro introduced its first petfood products in the summer of 2011. This fledgling company's flagship products are raw/frozen entrees made “bistro-style” in small, quality-controlled batches. "Our ingredients are simple, understandable and few," says Patricia Greene, president and founder of Bistro. "They include human-grade, local, 100% grass-fed meat, pasture raised without antibiotics, hormones or grains, or free-range and antibiotic-free poultry, the freshest fruits and vegetables available, locally grown when possible."

According to Greene, Raw recipes for its Chomps, Stix and recreation bones and dog food entrees are based on science and research conducted by leading holistic veterinarians and animal nutrition specialists. "Each recipe is tested, refined and retested until we’re satisfied we’ve met our own high standards for excellence."

The Raw Bistro  line includes the bones and raw/frozen entrées in grass-fed beef and free-range poultry. "Sustainable agriculture is a growing consumer concern," says Greene. "Our direct access to quality food sources means we’re well positioned to grow with the trend." When Greene and her company were deciding where to locate its processing plant, Cannon Falls, Minnesota, was chosen because it’s in the center of a prosperous farming community committed to practicing sustainable farming while also being located in close proximity to Minneapolis, the hub of the US Midwest’s supply network. "Being centrally located means we’re connected to major arteries linking us to distribution and shipping centers. Our products reach retailers rapidly and at their peak of freshness," attests Greene. 

"All too often, pets today are fed processed foods filled with chemicals, grains, fillers and animal by-products unfit for human consumption," Greene explains when asked about what sets her company apart from other petfood producers. "We know that dogs and cats evolved over tens of thousands of years by eating raw foods. As a result, their digestive systems are optimized to absorb maximal nutrition from raw food."

Agricultural and environmental  sustainability are keystone values in everything Bistro does, Greene says. But how does this young, small, locally focused company break through the advertising din of billion-dollar companies in order to get its message out to a broader base of consumers?

In 2012, Raw Bistro plans on adding more package sizes to accommodate larger dogs, as well as rolling out more varieties of grass-fed meat entrées and several new delicacies to add to its Stix and Chomps lines. Greene remains optimistic about Raw Bistro’s future because her products are positioned at the intersection of these consumer trends: 

  • The locovore movement;
  • Rising interest in feeding pets the least processed, most natural, chemical-free foods available;
  • Concern about environmental issues including sustainable agriculture;
  • Concern over the welfare and rights of farm animals;
  • Preference for feeding single-source proteins and grain/gluten-free foods with a limited numbers of ingredients; and
  • Demand for food safety/purity/quality.

"Although pet owners may not be buying more petfood, they are buying better food," Greene concludes. "Raw Bistro is positioning itself to be a leader in the premium raw/frozen petfood category to take advantage of this growing trend. Consumer interest in eating more healthfully, for themselves and their animal companions, is not a passing fad."

Just the facts 

Headquarters: Cannon Falls, Minnesota, USA

Facilities: In 2010, Raw Bistro completed the purchase of its own manufacturing plant, formerly a US Department of Agriculture meat processing facility, located in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. To make sure the 9000+ square-foot building met the company's present and projected productions needs, Bistro remodeled the space extensively.

Officer: Patricia Greene, president and founder

Brands: Raw Frozen Dog Fare (grass-fed beef entrée, free-range chicken entrée and free-range turkey entrée), Treats (Bistro Stix & Bistro Chomps) and Raw Bones (Bistro Bones)

Distribution: Raw Bistro products are currently distributed by Solid Gold Northland throughout Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas. Additionally, Raw Bistro is in negotiations with and seeking partnerships with distributors in other regions.

Employees: 5+ and growing

Website: www.rawbistro.com