You go out of your way to pick up organic tomatoes and splurge on locally-raised meats. But would you ever go to the same trouble for your four-legged friend?
“People buy — and I used to do the same thing — 40 pound bags of dog food and then leave it in the closet for a month, maybe longer,” says Michelle Lewis, maker of the homemade canine chow, ScooterFood. “But how can people equate good nutrition with a food that lays around like that? I don’t even keep an open box of pasta for that long.”
Lewis, who lives in Clinton Hill with Gwen and Ben, a Burmese Mountain Dog-Rottweiler mix and Border Collie mix, respectively, is not some crazy dog lady. ( “I don’t make Chateaubriand for dogs,” she explains. “I make good food for dogs that happens to include human ingredients.”)
Her inspiration came from her “very sassy” Scooter Mae (right), who passed away last summer at the ripe old age of 15. “I would give her [store-bought food] and I’d walk away and I’d hear Smack! Smack! Smack! She would use her nose to lift the bowl and turn it over. So after awhile the dumb human got it: ‘Oh, she doesn’t like her food.’ ” Scooter devoured Lewisâ€™s home-cooked kibbles, however, and in 2004, Lewis realized other dogs would too. (Full Disclosure: Our own 13-week-old Lab-Newfoundland mix goes wild for the stuff).
Today Lewis sells five different kinds of ScooterFood like Chicken Liver with Quinoa & Vegetables, all prepared locally in a commercial kitchen in Bed-Stuy, using as many organic ingredients as possible.
The cost for each 16-ounce microwaveable meal, which comes frozen, is $10 to $15 in stores like Who’s Your Doggy in Clinton Hill and Hope Vet on Atlantic Avenue. In January, Lewis also began delivering to individuals who order 12 meals or more, at a discounted price of $10 per. And over a month ago, she rolled out her 90% organic dog treats, ScooterSnacks.
Her gourmet chow is pricey, but a dab of ScooterFood on top of dry food morning and night can last a week. And the cost of watching your dog wagging his tail over this Alice Waters feast: priceless.
For a list of local stores where Scooter Food is sold, click here: scooterfood.com.
Todayâ€™s post brought to you by Nicole.