We had the good fortune of connecting with Wendy Childers and Billy Walsh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Wendy & Billy, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
People outside of the raw pet food industry probably have no idea the amount of steps and legality that go into it. It seems like a pretty straight forward industry, but there isn’t a Google search that you can do which tells you step by step instructions in order to make a successful business regarding pet food. There were plenty of walls we ran into when we first started. Licensing from so many different places was a huge eye opener that we had begun a highly regulated occupation. The state and city both need to do their own independent inspections and issue licenses. Each recipe we create needs to get approval from multiple state departments. It’s not like a restaurant where you can put just anything on a menu and go with it. Recipes and procedures need to be quite detailed. We’ve learned a lot, and continue to learn everyday.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
We both went to culinary school and started working in kitchens around LA. We also worked for a great catering company where we got to do events with some pretty awesome celebrities. The training in the kitchens really helped us develop the skills needed to get our initial recipe started. We had to be very efficient, consistent and accurate nutritionally. I (Wendy) also grew up on a farm in Wisconsin. So, I had a lot of familiarity with animals and the circle of life. Since we work with a lot of meat fabrication it was a very vital part of our operation. Both Billy and I have had jobs most of our lives. Hard work was never an option we could argue with. Another fun item to throw in the mix is that Billy has a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) that he received in 2008. He has short term memory loss/amnesia. If you’ve ever seen the movie “50 First Dates”, you get the idea! It just takes a little more patience and a lot of reminding on a daily basis. It keeps things interesting!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being foodies, we would definitely have an itinerary involving lost of eats! A couple breakfast spots would include Sidecar Doughnuts in Torrance, Nickel Diner downtown, Wide Eyes Open Palms in Long Beach, Dupar’s at the Grove for their pancakes and Cofax on Fairfax for their breakfast burrito. For pizza we would most certainly take them to Little Coyote in Long Beach or Joe’s in Hollywood. The best chicken sandwiches will be had at Son of a Gun in LA and a pop-up restaurant, Fire Bird Chicken in Liberation Brewing Company’s brewhouse, Long Beach. Since we are in the business of catering to canines, we would like to also take our friends to Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach for some excellent entertainment and lots of laughs. Dogs are funny when they get to be dogs!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We would like to thank all the chefs (Guillaume Jovet, Thessa Diem, Jon Shook, Vinny Ditolo) we worked with that helped us score such great techniques in the kitchen. We would also like to thank Kelly and Ross Levy of The Mindful Dog for getting me (Wendy) started on excellent dog training and the introduction to raw feeding.
Yelp: TC Raw Eats