This month, Evermore turns six. It has been a wild, wonderful, rocky road as we have navigated the intricacies of both the pet and human food industries, developed a deep respect for great products and customer service, and gained some hard-earned business and PR/marketing cred. Over the years, we've met thousands of pet parents and industry professionals and have often found ourselves faced with two questions that should have short answers: “How did your company get started?” and “How did you come up with your recipes?” For most companies this would be a breeze, but in this case (as in most others), Evermore is a different kind of company. To fully answer these interrelated questions requires a longer format than casual conversation, so we’ve decided to share our story in a series of posts.
PART 1: PRELUDE
It was 2001, in the aftermath of September 11th, and much of NYC’s Tribeca was a ghost town; in fact, the neighborhood below Canal Street was dubbed the “Frozen Zone.” A thousand residents were evacuated, and many more left voluntarily. Only a small contingency of neighborhood diehards remained behind amidst the smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center. Mary*, a neighborhood artist and dog-walker/boarder, and her Afghan Hound Luke were among the holdouts. Not long afterwards, Luke was diagnosed with cancer, and the vet gave him a six-month prognosis.
Refusing to accept this death sentence, Mary believed that Luke’s system had been poisoned by 9/11, and that he needed a gentle, detoxifying diet to support his immune system. Inspired by the writings of Dr. Pitcairn and Monica Segal, she started cooking for him. Contrary to his dire prognosis, Luke ended up living for another six years. During this time, Mary devoted herself to refining his diet and went on to intern and consult with well-respected holistic veterinarian William K. Kruesi, DVM, of the Cold River Veterinary Center in Clarendon, VT.
As Luke’s health improved, Mary also began cooking for her dog-walking clients and other dogs in the neighborhood. She soon had a thriving customer base in Tribeca, where she lived until late 2008. Then, like so many other neighborhood pioneers, she lost her affordable lease and moved the wilds of Red Hook, Brooklyn. She rented a nearby storage space to house two freezers and hired a driver to deliver the food to her Tribeca customers and two Manhattan retailers.
Since dog food was not quite paying the bills, Mary continued boarding her Manhattan dogs in her new apartment across the bridge. She would only live in Red Hook for a month before she crossed paths with another neighborhood artist and dog-walker/boarder, future Evermore co-founder, Hanna…
Continue to Part 2, Enter Hanna.
* Names have been changed to protect privacy.