Memory lane

  • The same year that Eric and Breann were married, they began testing and rolling meatballs in their small home kitchen. Lucy really enjoyed all of the taste testing! She was 11 years old at this point and VERY picky about what she ate so she had no problem turning up her nose at some of the test recipes. When she gobbled it up, they knew it was a hit!
  • Grandma Lucy’s began with our first meatball dog treats (Pot Roast, Cheeseburgers, Swiss Chicken, Zesty Chicken, Zesty Beef, Chicken Roast, Oriental Beef, Chicken Parmesan, Lemon Rosemary Chicken, Arroz Con Pollo and Zesty Beef).
  • Grandma Lucy’s first freeze-drying unit was actually older than Breann. A complete run only yielded about 22 jars of meatballs!
  • Received our Kitchen Certification from the California State Health Department.
  • While still attending college, Breann would work the office while Eric hit the streets to bring samples by to all the local Southern California pet supply stores. The samples were a success!
  • Paying in pizza, The Shooks took some help from their friends and started some late night meatball rolling parties to ramp up production and keep up with the growing demand for their freeze-dried meatball dog treats. Breann’s mom would cut out the fabric tops (how many remember those) and they would then tie each top on to the jars with twine.
  • The Shooks welcomed a special friend to the family, Bradley a Siberian Husky! What a family to join! He immediately joined the taste testing team.
  • Grandma Lucy’s needed a website. As with most aspects of the business, Eric and Breann decided to do it themselves. Eric taught himself how to build a website and in record time they were up and running. This attracted customers from all over the country and Grandma Lucy’s was soon being sold nationwide!
  • Introduced our first Baked Dog Treats (Spice N Everything Nice, Ginger Snaps and Lemon Wedges).
  • First America’s Family Pet Expo at the Orange County Fairgrounds.
  • It was then that Grandma Lucy’s realized it had outgrown its initial 900 square foot office/warehouse and needed to move to a larger building to add a larger freeze-drying unit. They moved from Aliso Viejo to nearby Lake Forest and into a building almost 7 times the size.
  • Introduced our first ever Freeze-Dried Cat Treat : TUNA. Eric and Breann had always wanted to bring out a cat treat but the trial and error period was much longer with cats than with dogs. They had quite a few taste testers of their own but, as you know, cats are MUCH pickier than dogs. After some failed attempts, they nailed it! Cats were going crazy over Grandma Lucy’s Freeze-Dried Tuna Cat Treats even calling it “Kitty Crack!”
  • The Grandma Lucy’s Family grew this year with the birth of Eric and Breann’s first child, Alex. She immediately had the largest office at Grandma Lucy’s! Bradley loved the new addition to the family. He was always there to walk with Breann and Alex after those late night feedings so she would fall back to sleep. He would quietly watch over her as she slept.
  • Grandma Lucyís had grown once again and it was time to move. A short drive down the road to Irvine they went where they added another, much larger, freeze-drying unit.
  • This was also a rough year for the family. They lost Lucy in 2005 but she lived a long and happy life. The Shooks are sure to make sure that her name lives on by continuing to make healthy and safe pet food and treats. Lucy would be proud!
  • A new line of 100% natural baked cookies are released (Carob Cherubs, Berry Blossoms and Cinnamon Cobblers).

  • The freeze-driers continued to grow in numbers right along with their reach. Grandma Lucyís treats were now being sold at over 1,500 retailers nationwide!
  • Another exciting addition this year was Eric and Breannís second child, Hunter who joined Alex at work each day. Actually, Breann and Hunter were back to work only 2 days after he was born!
  • A new company logo is designed which fits the direction the company is headed.
  • This was the most pivotal year in the company’s history. After all of the extremely alarming pet food recalls of 2007, Grandma Lucy’s released our first complete and balance diets: ARTISAN . The calls were overwhelming with people asking for us to turn our delicious and safe treats into a complete diet. One they could feel comfortable feeding their pets. Grandma Lucy’s answer was two freeze-dried, grain-free dog foods available in Chicken or Lamb and a Chicken and Fish cat food.
  • 100% USDA Organic Oven-Baked Baked Dog Treats are released which would later turn into Grandma Lucy’s most popular treat line.

 

  • 4 new recipes (Pork, Venison, Bison and Pre-Mix) are released in the Artisan line. The cost of
    shipping and the demand was becoming too much for them to continue to handle alone. It was
    then that they decided to take on distributors to help spread their food nationwide and even
    into Canada!
  • With the addition of new distributors, the demand for ARTISAN grew quickly and it was time
    to start looking for a larger facility and ways to increase production.
  • New distributors joined the Grandma Lucy’s Family and so did two other great additions this year. First, another custom built freeze-drying unit was produced for Grandma Lucy’s. There is not one like it in the world! Last, but certainly not least, The Shooks welcomed their third child, Gage. Their family was complete but you never know, there may be many additional freeze-driers to come.
  • 100% USDA Organic Oven-Baked Baked Dog Treats are released which would later turn into Grandma Lucy’s most popular treat line.

  • Grandma Lucy’s Freeze-Dried Sweet Potatoes start hitting store shelves.
  • Grandma Lucy’s Trail Mix treats for dogs was created.
  • 7 distributors are added bringing the total up to 21.
  • The demand for Grandma Lucy’s pet foods and treats was much larger than forcasted and the company reaches their production capacity. Additional equipment and employees are added to help lower lead times and increase fill rates.
  • Grandma Lucy’s has always changed with the times and it was this year that they said good-bye to their red and white gingham, fabric tops. It was sad to see them go as they had been such a special part of the Grandma Lucy’s products.
  • Grandma Lucy’s secures a contract with a reputable farm in Oregon which produces USDA inspected and approved rabbit meat.
  • To expand the types of food Grandma Lucy’s offered, they complied all of the requests from their loyal customers and designed a new food for dogs, PUREFORMANCE. This was the first freeze-dried/dehydrated food to be made with chickpeas! Three recipes were available at that time: Chicken, Lamb and Rabbit.
  • The Shooks added a new member to their family. Oliver, their new furry kid, joined them on Christmas morning. The kids were over the moon. He too loves his parent’s jobs! Don’t be surprised to find Breann’s father and Oliver sitting outside enjoying a bag of Organic Blueberry Dog Treats together.
  • Grandma Lucy’s achieves complete distribution coverage across the United States and Canada! We have been so fortunate to work with some of the best distributors while still keeping in contact with all of our special retail partners.
  • Pureformance Goat and Premix are launched. The combination of chickpeas, freeze-dried goat, fruits and vegetables are a home run.
  • Organic Apple and Organic Banana & Sweet Potato are added to Grandma Lucy’s highest volume treat line.
  • The freeze-dried, single ingredient dog and cat treats are combined, moved out of jars and into bags and are simply named “Singles”.
  • Grandma Lucy’s made one of the best and most exciting moves in the history of our company. In July 2013, we were able to purchase an already food-grade production facility in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. It has always been our number one priority to make all of our freeze-dried food and treats in small batches in our own manufacturing facility. This is the only way we know that we can keep a close eye on production, materials and finished product. We both still make it a point to know every material that is coming into the building and what supplier it is coming from to ensure the safest product available. Prior to us moving in, the building was used to produce drink mixes for such companies as Coffee Bean and Costco. The building is 100% built to meet all of the safety requirements of the California State Health Department for human food production. Over the years, we have adopted a strict HACCP plan to ensure that our manufacturing process is safe from start to finish. We have SOPs in place for each product that we manufacture. These have detailed instructions structured around the safe food handling guidelines established by the USDA and the FDA. Our SOPs ensure that all ingredients are checked upon arrival, stored properly, prepared safely, packaged and prepared to reduce the risk of cross contaminations so that we can make sure pets with food allergies are not exposed to a different protein that may be used in one of our other foods. This larger facility enabled us to increase production while staying close to our values of creating small batches of the highest quality pet food available all under one roof.
  • Valor food – Since we started back in 1999, we have always listened to our customer’s wants and needs when designing our new products. We are constantly making “wish lists” with the ideas of our supporters and then we take those lists and do our best to make them into a reality. Once we have laid out what we would like to create, we first make sure we are able to source all of the ingredients from the best suppliers available. Once we know we are able to deliver, we then work closely with veterinarians and nutritionists to ensure we are delivering a healthy product that meets all of the AAFCO guidelines. Since the pet industry often follows the human food industry, when people were introduced to the superfood, quinoa, the requests started coming in for a new food to include this nutrient rich ingredient. After research and taste testing, we are proud to offer the first freeze-dried pet food made with a perfect blend of a single protein, vegetables and quinoa. We are always sure to offer the very best so that our supporters can continue to trust that we are bringing them a safe and healthy product.
  • Company videos – To celebrate our first 15 years, we worked hard to create videos to show how it all began back in 1999. We covered what inspired Eric and Breann to start Grandma Lucy’s, our process, our products, our ingredients and more. We look forward to releasing additional videos in the future to share more about what Grandma Lucy’s is all about.
  • A new website is launced.
  • “Lucy” – the company’s icon for over 15 years is updated.
  • Stay tuned for new products to come!

See how Grandma Lucy’s was started over 15 years
ago from the love of one dog and our promise of
using the highest quality USDA ingredients.

Make sure to visit Our Process page and see how
all of our wonderful products are made in our
family owned and operated California facility.