Foxy Treats Offers Special Pupologie Dog Food Blend
Sep 30, 2013 10:15AM
By Erin Lehn Floresca
Tasha Ardalan, owner and head chef of Foxy Treats, didn’t set out to create dog foods. In fact, she was planning to go to school to become a lawyer. However, when her sister gave her a Pembroke Corgi as a graduation present, Ardalan’s path took a doggie detour. In 2007, not long after getting Foxy, her new furry companion, Foxy Treats was born. “I began research and development wherever I saw a need that wasn’t being met in regards to Foxy,” explains Ardalan. “Then I began introducing the product to the public at local farmers’ markets. It’s great because I got instant feedback from my customers. I also developed a very symbiotic relationship with the farmers at the markets.” Foxy Treats were such a hit that by 2010 the products were available to the public on a wider scale.
Foxy Treats are organic, grain-free, raw and local. The company is so homegrown that Ardalan not only gets ingredients from local farmers, her parents who run a showing jumping stables in Valley Center, have given her permission to develop Foxy Treats Farm at their ranch, Caspian Stables. “Foxy Treats Farm provides several ingredients like turmeric, lentils, adzuki beans and mung beans for the blends,” affirms Ardalan. While at times they’ve considered increasing variety, Ardalan and her boyfriend/partner Brandon Janiss, aren’t sure that is the route they want to take quite yet. “We love supporting the other farmers that we have relationships with,” she says. “And besides, why reinvent the wheel when other local farmers provide such wonderful produce?”
While Ardalan didn’t quite set out to become an expert in dog food, she’s no stranger to the food industry. This self-taught chef started baking at the age of five and began developing her own recipes by the time she was eight years old. “After graduating from UCSC, I started an organic late night food delivery business called Foxy Lady Late Nite,” she explains. “It catered to college students, restaurant industry workers and professors. It was ranked as the top restaurant six weeks in a row on the, now defunct, ReviewSantaCruz.com.” After moving back to Valley Center to focus on Foxy Treats, she worked at Vincent's, a fine French restaurant in Escondido. “Although I was only at Vincent's for a few months before delving into farmers’ markets, I had the opportunity to really hone my skills,” she says. Now Ardalan uses her culinary talents to create canine confections for charity fundraisers and Yappy Hours such as the "pupfait"—a puppy parfait made with grass-fed beef liver, coconut milk, skirt steak and caramelized apple. She also teaches her very popular Doggy & Me cooking classes, along with managing the Welk Farmers’ Market in Escondido with Janiss. The couple has also recently accepted the position as managers of the Encinitas Station Certified Farmers' Market held each Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m.
A project that she is extremely excited about is the launch of Local Harvest, a special blend for Pupologie in Encinitas. Pupologie has one of the largest selections of natural pet foods in San Diego County and is considered a leader in holistic pet foods. “It’s a unique store that gives so much to the community. Owners Denise and Brendon Clifton really pour their heart into their store and care so much for the health of their four-legged customers. I wanted to honor them and the service they provide to local residents,” shares Ardalan. “This community is so ecologically-minded that I consider this blend a way that I can honor Encinitas residents as well.”
Foxy Treats' Local Harvest takes the concept of raw dog food and modifies it to be a completely sustainable, Encinitas-centric product. “Coral Tree Farms, an Encinitas gem, provides much of the produce; Robbie’s Fresh Fish provides local halibut, rock fish and certified organic Shetland salmon,” says Ardalan. “Red ogo from Carslbad Aquafarms is a nutritional powerhouse that can only be found in our Local Harvest blend for Pupologie.” A complete and updated list of ingredients by season can be found at Pupologie.com/localharvest.
Local Harvest made its first debut at September’s Yappy Hour at Pupologie to doggone rave reviews. Kate Murray (aka Miss Sushi San Diego), a Yappy Hour participant, is a Local Harvest fan. “My dog suffers from environmental allergies so I love that Local Harvest has pure local bee pollen,” she says. “I can't wait until it's available in the store.”
In addition, Foxy Treats will be offering custom formulas that will allow customers to choose different proteins and add or omit ingredients. “Since each dog is unique, understandably their dietary needs are unique as well,” explains Ardalan. “That’s why we’re excited to custom tailor the Pupologie blend to meet each dog’s needs.”
For more information on Foxy Treats, visit FoxyTreats.com. To purchase the Foxy Treats Pupologie blend visit Pupologie, located at 123 N. El Camino Real, Ste. G in Encinitas. For more information, call 760-436-1226 or visit Pupologie.com.