Thursday, October 22, 2020

Iconic Southern California Pet Food Company Revitalized with New Owners


Iconic Southern California Pet Food Company Revitalized with New Owners



The new Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods ownership group is led by pet food pioneer Joey Herrick and includes Los Angeles Dodgers Legend Orel Hershiser, Hall of Fame Broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, and his son Jorge Jarrin.


Irwindale, California-
Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods, a manufacturer of specialty super-premium dry dog and cat foods, announced today it has been purchased by 30-year pet food veteran Joey Herrick and is becoming an independent business once again.  


The new Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods, LLC is a privately held ownership group of Southern California businesspeople led by Joey Herrick and Rick Rockhill, former executive at Natural Balance and Petco. The group also includes Los Angeles Dodger legends Orel Hershiser, Hall of Fame Broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, his son Jorge Jarrin, Frank Koch, former executive with Nature’s Recipe and Natural Balance, as well as Rick Taylor former Breeder’s Choice President and son of the original owner.


Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods has produced super-premium dog and cat foods for 73 years at the same location in Irwindale, California. Breeder’s Choice produces AvoDerm® and Pinnacle® pet food brands which are exported globally. In addition to its own brands, Breeder’s Choice is a leading custom manufacturer with extensive export capabilities to produce super premium brands and retailers’ private label brands.


Joey Herrick co-founded Natural Balance Pet Foods in 1989 and grew it into a highly respected pet food brand. He also founded The Lucy Pet Foundation, a 501 © (3) charity and then Lucy Pet Products, a premium pet food company dedicated to improving the health of animals. 


“Our formula for success is simple, never compromise on quality or ingredients, and always do what is right for the health of animals.” Herrick said. “It starts with good people committed to quality, which is why Clint Hammond the Director of Plant Operations for the past 9 years, along with the production team remains in place at Breeder’s Choice” Herrick added.


About Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods

In 1947, Harold Taylor started Breeder’s Choice Pet Food company with a simple goal: the uncompromising pursuit of the healthiest nourishment for the pets we love. That commitment endures today in the high-quality formulas we make in our state-of-the-art facility in California. We provide our customers with flexible manufacturing, superior natural ingredients like fresh meat purees, and a range of packaging options.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

What's the best dog food?


Over the years I've shared countless articles, blog posts and podcasts about pet food and caring for pets. When I look back on the past twenty-five years in the pet industry I am humbled by how much I have learned from so many people, professional organizations, conferences and companies, with whom I've had the honor to be associated. I've never been shy about sharing and disclosing my professional affiliations, in part as full disclosure and also to lend some credibility to my point of view and knowledge.  

I am a partner at Lucy Pet Foods, and have an active role in many functions including our nutrition team. I'm one of those folks whose views are rooted in science and fact. I do not tend to follow fads and trends in nutrition. The internet is full of so-called "experts" who mislead people with all kinds of nonsensical ideas about what is right or best for dog and cat food. This post isn't intended to be the complete story on nutrition, but I will say that fads like "high protein", "raw food" , "fresh, gently cooked" diets are misleading to say the least. Domesticated dogs are not wolves, they do not hunt for their meals, they live relatively sedentary lifestyles and eat multiple times a day. High protein is not only not necessary but science has shown it can lead to cancer in the colon. Raw Diets are dangerous and prone to all kinds of nasty bugs. And don't be fooled by those so-called fresh, gently cooked pet foods. They are mostly water, and are not truly balanced. They show you things like fresh vegetables, fresh meats, etc, which are very high moisture, and not the nutrients your dog truly needs. Kibble truly is the very best form of food to feed your dog. Of course there are many ranges in quality kibble. It can be difficult to figure out what brands of kibble are the best. Like many things, you do get what you pay for, and generally I advise people to buy the best you can afford.  

So how do you decide what brand of dog food to choose? Well, it can be overwhelming but do your research. Take the time to read what brands say on their websites. What do they emphasize? Is ti marketing hype, or is it science and fact based? Is the brand transparent with its research, quality and brand experience? Do the people who own and run the company have solid experience in pet food, or are they newbies who raised a lot of investment money and jumped in to the industry to make a quick buck? Experience matters. Integrity matters. Transparency matters. Can you call the owner and talk to the nutritionist? Admittedly I am partial because I am a partner at Lucy Pet Foods, but I also have been in the pet food industry for long enough to know fact from hype. I have seen the tricks that so many pet food companies use to mislead consumers. I'm a purist, and I believe that pet parents deserve to know the facts. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have any time, so feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly.

I am a huge believer in the role our digestive tract (or the Gut) has in total health. In fact there is compelling science that proves conclusively that good gut health can strengthen the immune system, help fight disease, provide more energy, improve mood, and help with a healthy skin and coat. Lucy Pet Foods are built on that science, using a very unique fiber blend, along with quality proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vegetables to deliver superior nutrition to your dog or cat.  So yes I am partial to Lucy Pet Foods, but it is because I have worked with some of the nation's leading nutritionists and industry experts on ingredients to build a pet food that delivers results. Don't just take my word for it, check out our website and read about our Formulas for Life dog and cat foods.

I've been feeding my standard poodles Lucy Pet Duck, Pumpkin & Quinoa dog food for five years and they have really thrived on it. This year we just launched our new Kettle Creations Dog and Cat Stews. These are a really nice stew form, with extra gravy so they are perfect to use as a topper with kibble, or you can feed as a meal. They are made with real salmon, chicken or duck, and not some fake formed mystery meat-like stuff. All our ingredients are real! I should know because I have spent so much time at the plant and was personally involved in their development and production. I hope you check us out sometime and try our foods, you can find our products with free shipping from our own website. We are also available from Chewy and Amazon.

Thanks for reading,


P.S.- Funny enough, when I first posted this article, someone sent me a message asking about the two bowls in the photo above. They are Fiesta brand pet food bowls. Fiestaware is one of the most collected and popular brands of dinnerware. Lucy Pet Products website started carrying the Fiestaware dog food bowls and cat food bowls. I was surprised how many people really liked the Fiesta pet food bowls, and that's why we started selling them on our website. Made in USA, chip resistant, and very durable, dishwasher and microwave safe., Fiesta is the brand of bowls I bought for my own dogs...and that was long before Lucy Pet started selling Fiesta. (So that means I actually paid full price!).

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Healthy Living as a Type 1 Diabetic: Tandem X2 Insulin Pump & Dexcom G6 CGM

New Podcasts:

Healthy Living Diabetes: Tandem X2 Insulin Pump & Dexcom G6 CGM

30 minute podcast click here

60 minute podcast click here

Anyone who has Type 1 Diabetes knows what a struggle it can be. It is a manageable condition but requires exceptional discipline, constant monitoring of blood glucose levels and planning. Staying healthy as a Type 1 Diabetic is a full time job in and of itself.  It also requires knowledge of the food we eat, how it is digested and how it converts to carbohydrates.  While diabetes has common traits, it also can vary from person to person depending on many factors, including weight, stress, general health, sleep cycles, diet, and general health. Even our insulin sensitivity can vary. Having access to technology such as a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and an insulin pump can be the difference between getting by and living as a healthy diabetic. As a user of the Tandem X2 Insulin Pump & Dexcom G6 CGM I can honestly say it changed my life. 
A few years ago when I discovered I required insulin to stay alive, it seemed like a devastating
diagnosis. I was in denial, shock, and felt depressed. Once I got past those feelings I learned it can be managed. However I am one of the lucky ones, I had a close friend who is a Pharmacist with a specialty in diabetes management. Although he hadn't planned to, he became a personal coach and taught me so much. Last April I started using an insulin pump, which was a really difficult concept for me to get over. Once I got it and started using it I wondered why I resisted for so long. I tweeted about it last June, sharing a video and I had a number of people contact me about it, just from that post on Twitter. During this podcast I will share what I learned, and my own experiences on this journey as a Type 1 Diabetic. I am not an expert, but this podcast is intended to provide hope and support to anyone struggling with diabetes. My one tip to everyone is always insist on seeing an endocrinologist. You deserve an expert who understands your whole system. I'll share my story in this episode.
Note: This is NOT a sponsored post, and has no affiliation to Dexcom or Tandem Diabetes. The content is my own opinions and experiences. Always consult your own doctor for medical advice in managing your own diabetes.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Palm Springs Women in Film and Television Kicks off New Speaker Series

Independent Film Producer Kim Waltrip returns to my podcast to discuss the Palm Springs Women in Film and Television (PSWIFT), a non-profit organization founded in 2001, dedicated to promoting its members, both men and women in the Entertainment, New Media and Creative arts community. Focused on education and bringing more production work to the Coachella Valley, PSWIFT is the 38th Chapter of Women in Film & Television International, reaching over 43 Chapters worldwide and over 10,000 members. Ms Waltrip currently serves as President of PSWIFT and offers her unique perspective of this organization's contributions to Palm Springs. Anyone interested in a career in film or television this podcast has some great insights from Kim's experience as a film producer based in Palm Springs.
Kim Waltrip
PSWIFT has initiated a Speakers Series, the first installment will kick off February 20, 2020 with a conversation with Nick Vallelonga, the Oscar Winner for Best Picture "Green Book" and the actor who played the Bass in the film, Mike Hatton
Nick Vallelonga is the Writer/Producer of the Oscar winning film “Green Book.” and also won two Golden Globes for Original Screenplay and Best Picture which is based on the true story of Nick's father Tony Lip, who went on tour of the south with the brilliant pianist Dr. Donald Shirley in 1962.  Mike Hatton co-starred as George Dyer, the Bass player of The Don Shirley Trio. Mike won several awards for his performance in Green Book including a Hollywood Film Award and he returned to his second home here in Palm Springs to accept the PSIFF Chairman's Vanguard Award.  Mike is also a producer and can be seen next in Pay Dirt, which he produced in The Coachella Valley.

A conversation with Nick Vallelonga, the Oscar Winner for Best Picture "Green Book" and the actor who played the Bass in the film, Mike Hatton! Wine reception prior to conversation. Tickets are $25 for Members, $35 for non-members. Register here.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Women Leadership in Social Media Networking: Cheryl Lawson, Social Media Tulsa

Podcast episode: Sunday February 2nd Listen on Demand Anytime.

Cheryl Lawson, founder Social Media Tulsa
Media research specialists have analyzed the impact of women leaders in social media and social apps. Studies show that women leaders are instrumental in the evolution of stereotypes and shifting demographic trends across multiple categories of social media networks and apps. Women leaders have an impact on media, business, networking, advertising and entertainment. Data shows that women are more active than men on social media, in the number of hours per week, and levels are participation and engagement. Experts believe that since women typically adapt and embrace new technology more easily, they will continue to lead and foreshadow trends in the digital space, and in business. Unlike their male counterparts women typically are more expressive, communicative and willing to engage across multiple platforms and conversations. Inherently more willing to share and bond with friends and strangers in social space, women are leading change in the online space, which translates offline in a variety of ways, particularly supporting their local communities.
I'm pleased to welcome back Cheryl Lawson to my podcast on February 2nd 2020. Cheryl is the founder of Social Media Tulsa, a robust social media networking organization that specializes in social media for events and connecting businesses with social media savvy marketers and influencers. Cheryl has been an innovative leader in her community using this space long before anyone was doing this type of networking. Over the past decade, Cheryl has built an impressive network of influencers who engage with SMTulsa throughout the year to help support the diverse Tulsa community. Her network includes local business, non-profits, individual professionals, and people who just enjoy being part of something bigger. Her Social Media Tulsa event is the premier social media conference brings together small business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers, visual media artists, social media aficionados to engage, network and build a community that lasts long after the last conference selfie has been taken. No matter where you live, this podcast is relevant to help anyone learn more about how to network and leverage social media for good as a positive force in the community. I have personally observed (and participated) in Cheryl's community and perhaps one of the most impressive aspects is that it continues to thrive and grow for over ten years. Cheryl is an excellent example of a leader who had the inspiration, tenacity and drive to build something to help others and keep it going, constantly innovating along the way. A true model for all who seek relevance in today's challenging and sometimes overwhelming world of social media. 

Cheryl returns to my podcast discuss her unique insights and emerging trends in social media. A must-listen for anyone interested in learning how to put social media platforms to practical use in business/personal life. Find out more about the 2020 SMTULSA Conference limited space is available: March 26, 27 2020

Friday, January 24, 2020

Quinoa for Dogs and Cats?

Long time readers know that I've worked in the pet industry for over 20 years. My background is specifically in dog and cat nutrition, and in full disclosure I am a partner at a pet food company called Lucy Pet Products. Many of our recipes include quinoa, which is considered an ancient grain, but is actually a seed and is very healthy for people and pets. Our nutritionists developed dog and cat foods with quinoa because it is a high quality ingredient and an excellent source of energy and nutrients. Here is an excerpt of a blog post from the Lucy Pet website. 
The quinoa phenomenon is truly remarkable in North America. Once a relatively unfamiliar food to the US, this ancient grain has grown in popularity over the past few years, even appearing on pet blogs such as Petnet as a hot new health food for both humans and their four-legged friends. So the question remains: is quinoa good for dogs? In this article, we’ll explore many frequently-asked questions, including the quinoa for dogs benefits  – and what pet foods feature this superfood that has garnered so much attention as of late.
Quinoa FAQs: Commonly-Asked Questions About The “Ancient Grain”While many of us may have heard of quinoa – or even eat it ourselves – there is much that people do not know about this nutrient-rich ingredient. According to the Whole Grains Council, the majority of the world’s quinoa crop is grown in South America, about a third of which is organic. While there are hundreds of types of quinoa grown, the most common varieties are either white, red, or tan. Although this gluten-free food dates back thousands of years and is often referred to as an “ancient grain”, quinoa is actually a seed. Used as a healthy substitute for certain gluten-heavy carbohydrates such as rice and pasta, quinoa has continued to grow in popularity as health-conscious people search for ways to reduce their processed food intake and cut their caloric intake – especially the gluten-sensitive set. But how does this grain-free food benefit our dogs? Below, a few frequently asked questions regarding quinoa for dogs:
Q: Is Quinoa Safe For Dogs To Eat?A: A great deal of research has shown that quinoa is a highly nutritious food for humans. But according to the AKC, it’s also safe for dogs and cats, too – in fact, many premium dog kibble brands have begun using it as a substitute for less healthy starches such as wheat, soy, and corn. Loaded with calcium, protein, vitamin E, B-1, B-2, it also touts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, it offers trace minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphate, and potassium, as well as heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids – so it’s no wonder that this ‘superfood’ has taken off in popularity for both health-conscious humans and their pets! Since it’s high in both protein and healthy carbs, quinoa is especially beneficial for active dogs and cats.
Q: Is Quinoa Good For Dogs With Allergies Or Food Sensitivities?A: Just as some humans experience food allergies, our canine companions can also experience allergic reactions to certain foods, including dog food ingredients. In the instance that your furry friend has been diagnosed by a veterinarian with canine allergies, the vet’s office may recommend an elimination diet. This type of diet basically entails determining what foods your dog may or may not be allergic to by introducing them to the animal one at a time to see how he reacts. If you notice itching, gastrointestinal problems (such as diarrhea/vomiting/constipation), or even chronic otitis (ear infections), it most likely means he’s allergic to that particular food. Your vet can provide further instructions on this process, but this method – also known as a “restricted diet” – can help to pinpoint what your dog can and cannot eat. In other instances, your dog may have a food sensitivity – such as a reaction to specific foods such as gluten – so he may require a gluten-free diet. In either case, your vet can determine his condition and the best steps to take to ensure he receives the proper nutrition at feeding time.
When diagnosing your dog, some vets will recommend what is known as a “limited-antigen” diet – meaning one protein and one carbohydrate at a time. Furthermore, the foods should be new to the dog – meaning he’s never eaten them before. Among the list of ‘novel’ carbohydrate ingredients – you guessed it, quinoa. Other sources of ‘good’ carbs may include oats, pumpkin, barley, and even dog food containing chickpeas, which is also a great source of protein. If you notice your dog’s allergy symptoms improving, high-quality dog kibble including these ingredients (such as quinoa) may be a great source of nutrition for your pooch.
Can Dogs Eat Quinoa: How To Add It To Their Diet, Naturally
As you can see, there are so many benefits to feeding a diet made with quinoa into your dog’s dietary regimen. Choosing quality dog foods such as Lucy Pet can really make a difference in your pet’s health and longevity. With our scientifically-formulated blends of balanced nutrition, our natural dog kibble and treats take the guesswork out of feeding your pup. Packed with healthful ingredients – including gluten-free, amino-rich quinoa, protein-studded chickpeas, premium meats and fish, vitamin and mineral-packed veggies (such as pumpkin), and other superior whole food sources – our dog food formulas are based on 40 years of research and studies by Dr. George C. Fahey. Take the next step in ensuring your furry friend’s vitality and make him a Lucy Pet dog today.
Lucy Pet has full transparency of every ingredient used in the formulas. You can learn more about each ingredient and where is it sourced from, right from the website.


This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally, with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients, business colleagues or my company.

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