Thoughts for a New Year
2017 was an undeniably tumultuous year. We think humanity is collectively ready to move on to 2018. So, we’ll start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year, one that we hope is kinder and gentler than the previous one.
You may have noticed we have done very little in the way of holiday marketing. Our growth this past year was nothing short of meteoric, and we thought it wise to take a breather and recharge for the year ahead. Before we completely forge ahead, we'd like to share our past year in review and a little bit about our plans for the year ahead.
We began 2017 watching newer entrants to the “gently cooked” category closing massive investment deals, and we once again fell temporarily into the trap of believing that we needed outside investment capital in order to continue on our path. Thankfully this feeling was fleeting, and we plan to remain proudly independent. We’ve managed to successfully bootstrap our way to self-sufficiency and want to continue that way for as long as possible, where our focus is on serving our customers and each other, not investors.
In March we took the single most transformative step towards positioning our company to effectively scale, moving over to third-party fulfillment. As business owners, we truly feel it’s important to be personally familiar with every aspect of operations; that said, neither one of us misses schlepping boxes to FedEx. We didn’t get to enjoy our extra “free time” for long though, as rapid growth put a LOT of new demands on both of us.
Often when companies grow, compromises are made in quality. It is something that drives us crazy as consumers, and one of our biggest challenges—and commitments to you—is to avoid this common pitfall as we grow. In fact, we will continue to go in the opposite direction. In 2017, we made some major upgrades to our already rigorous sourcing practices:
Moved over to using fully pastured eggs from Vital Farms
Switched to 100% grass-fed New Zealand lamb from Atkins Ranch
Established an exclusive partnership with a 100% grass-fed California cattle rancher
Changed our calcium source from calcium citrate to eggshell powder
Vetted a source for pasture-raised chicken for 2018!
This year we were also finally able to realize our long-term goal of giving back, starting in small but meaningful ways. We kicked off our partnership with Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue and have already donated 200 lbs. to foster pups with special medical needs. After Hurricane Harvey, our Labor Day Weekend giveback sale allowed us to raise over $600 to aid in relief efforts for Austin Pets Alive.
Our product offerings and spokespack expanded as well. In July we announced our new spokespup search for our turkey recipe. We were overwhelmed by the sheer number of amazing entries—we love each and every one of your dogs, really. In the end though, it was Gritz, whose amazing story of rescue and rehabilitation won us over. By late October, we launched our brand new Turkey Recipe and sold through our inaugural batch in record time!
By the time our 8th birthday rolled around in early December, we achieved yet another long-term goal—releasing a no-holds-barred, behind-the-scenes video of our production process. We believe in transparency and are proud of all of the hard work and beautiful ingredients that go into Evermore. So, we put aside our vanity and showed you the truth about our pet food—hair-nets, organ meats and all. Speaking of “The Truth About Pet Food,” we’re thrilled to be featured on Susan Thixton’s list, yet again!
Over the course of the year, our sales steadily grew with barely any marketing spend. We seem to have hit our “tipping point.” This has been both exhilarating and terrifying. There’s just two of us. We have some very helpful people in our corner (thanks Ruth, JD and Morgan!), but when it comes down to it, we are running an entire company in an accountable manner with only two people (one of whom has a toddler). Yes, it has been exhausting, and one of our hardest learned lesson this year was that we need to take care of ourselves, too.
We’re big fans of manifesting (there might be a crystal or two on our desks), so here are our wishes for 2018.
We hope this new year allows us to:
Continue our trend of steady growth
Expand the Evermore family by hiring for a key position or two
Find more innovative ways to tell our story to a wider audience
Introduce economy sizes and additional product offerings
Hear more from you, our customers and adoring fans
What do you want to see from Evermore in 2018? Seriously, we want to know!