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Lucy Postins

Your Name: Lucy Postins

Business Name: The Honest Kitchen, a maker of all natural dog food

Type of Business: Other — Pet Food

Business Location: San Diego, California, United States

Twitter @honestkitchen

Reason for starting
I started The Honest Kitchen in 2002 because of my dog Mosi’s food-related health issues. I couldn’t find a healthy, all-natural whole food diet that was convenient to store and make, which would also help address his skin and ear problems, so I decided to make one myself. I began to offer the food to other local people. The food actually spoke for itself in the way it tasted and the health benefits it yielded, so we grew dramatically by word of mouth and grassroots means – one shiny dog at a time – something that remains at the core of our success today.

How do you define success?
We define success in a number of different ways. Ultimately, making a positive difference in a pet’s life and well-being is success. From a business standpoint, it’s also about creating a nurturing environment for staff to grow professionally, it’s the ability to give back to non-profits, and it’s top line growth and the protection of margins for a sustainable long-term future.

Biggest Success
Growing The Honest Kitchen to be a recognized brand, which has acted as a change agent within our industry, so that an entire category of products has evolved around what we pioneered.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Continuing to add top talent and hire ahead of our needs, whilst also be cognizant of margins, and managing resources for long term sustainable growth. We’ve addressed it by pushing ourselves to the limit of our comfort zones, and balancing what we know or believe from an instinctive standpoint with the rigor of analytics based decision-making – while trying to maintain as agile and nimble as possible.

Who is your most important role model?
I have several, but the more prominent would probably be Tory Burch and Jamie Oliver – as well as our board of directors who are amazing mentors and sounding boards for new ideas and challenges we work through.

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