When Margaret Kolodziejczyk adopted Conrad — a Labrador German Shepherd mix — eight years ago, she never suspected he’d inspire her to start her own business.
“He had a lot of digestive issues,” Kolodziejczyk said. “Nothing seemed to make a difference until I started experimenting with homemade diets.”
Kolodziejczyk said she has always been careful about her own health and nutrition, but had no idea the impact diet could have on her four-legged friend until she began to do some research.
“I saw how important it was for a dog to have a fresh food diet,” she said. “And it’s something that has gotten more popular in recent years.”
Kolodziejczyk soon found she enjoyed experimenting with fresh foods.
“It quickly went from being a hobby to a passion,” she said. She launched Hound Fresh in 2016.
“We are a subscription meal delivery service for dogs,” Kolodziejczyk said. “Everything we make is from scratch. It’s made fresh every week, portioned for the customer and delivered.”
Among its ingredients are chicken, kale, sweet potatoes, zucchini and apples. Everything is cooked and packaged in a shared kitchen on West Ferry Street in Buffalo. It costs more than commercial dog food, but Kolodziejczyk said you get what you pay for — pet food manufacturers use much less stringent standards for ingredients.
“Unless it says human grade, you are probably feeding your dog lungs, intestines, beaks, all of the undesirable parts,” she said.
Julia Roberto-Murray has been feeding her four dogs a Hound Fresh diet for the last year.
“My dogs are so picky, they’ll go days without eating if they don’t get something they like,” she said. “We saw [Kolodziejczyk] set up at the Bark in the Park Festival and my dogs actually pulled me over to her booth.”
Roberto-Murray said even her pickiest dog loved the food, and she has been hooked ever since.
“Their coats are fabulous and they are in the best health they have ever been in,” she said.