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The Disruptors

A husband and wife duo, a brother-in-law, and a friend take aim at traditional pet foods with their fresh, made to order dog food delivery service

By: Alice Sewell

Last Updated:


When Alex Jarrell’s Australian Shepherd Harlee became ill with a weakened immune system, Alex tried just about every kind of traditional medical treatment to make her beloved pup well again, with little success. Finally, her veterinarian suggested trying a fresh food diet, balanced by a veterinary nutritionist. Alex was astounded when she saw Harlee’s condition drastically improve.

It was an epiphany moment. Alex figured there must be many other pups out there whose health could be dramatically improved by a fresh food diet, but whose owners didn’t possess the time or expertise to cook for their pets themselves. So Alex, along with her husband Zach Phillips, brother in law Nate Phillips, and friend Wenzhe Gao decided to quit their jobs and venture into the world of pet food, founding NomNomNow, a fresh pet food delivery service.

“As soon as we saw how completely Harlee’s symptoms had cleared up as a result of eating a fresh diet, we couldn’t quit our jobs fast enough to focus on making fresh food available to more pet parents,” says Alex.

They teamed up with Dr. Justin Shmalberg, DVM, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to formulate recipes and set out to provide properly balanced food made from fresh, whole, and unprocessed ingredients aimed at improving and even prolonging the lives of millions of pets.

“From the beginning, we knew that we wanted to be a pet health company rather than just a pet food company,” says Alex. To achieve this, they first identified harmful ingredients found in many dog foods and set to eliminate those. “We didn’t want ingredients that we couldn’t pronounce!” Alex says. “It was very important to us and to Dr. Shmalberg that each ingredient be visibly recognizable, and one that we’d eat too. Meat by-products and meals were out of the question, as were synthetic preservatives.” 


“We couldn’t quit our jobs fast enough.”


They were clearly on to something. NomNomNow grew exponentially due to demand for convenient, fresh dog food. The team went from preparing meals in their kitchen, packaging them, and hand delivering across San Francisco themselves to having two production facilities, one in the San Francisco Bay area and one in Nashville, Tennessee, and shipping partners that deliver their fresh meals across the US.

So why are these meals so popular? “When pet parents make the switch to feeding NomNomNow, they’ll open each meal to find fresh, identifiable ingredients and a perfect balance of nutrients designed for a species appropriate diet. They’ll also enjoy increased convenience as a result of our pre-portioned, single-serve meals, and our easy-to-use recurring deliveries,” says Alex. On top of ease and quality ingredients, customers keep coming back for more due to the range of health benefits seen with the switch in diet, including brighter eyes, a shinier coat, more energy, more excitement at meal time, relief from allergy symptoms, and improved digestion.

Making fresh meals isn’t without its challenges, however. Due to not carrying any frozen inventory, Alex admits that “creating fresh, made to order pet food is difficult.” But despite the many hurdles, the NomNomNow team always goes above and beyond to make sure all customers receive their fresh, perfectly portioned meals exactly when they need them. 

In keeping with their mission to be a pet health company, NomNomNow has also recently launched a line of probiotic supplements, aimed at boosting healthy bacteria levels that help maintain proper digestive and immune functions, and a range of single ingredient jerky treats to complement meals.


The Details: Meals start at $20 per week depending on pet age, weight, activity level, and health goals. Customize a meal plan for your pup at Get 30% Off Your First Order Using This Special Link!.


Last Updated:

By: Alice Sewell
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