Dog product gurus out of Denver, CO create an easy way to feed your pup on your next adventure!
So, it all started when one of the owners of Pet Treater, Vantha, and I were talking about a video we saw. In the video, a young active woman was at the top of the mountain after a long hike, and she opened a bag of kibble and fed it to her dog. We thought, “Yea right, like she hiked to the top of that mountain with a 50 lb bag of food,” laughingly. This led the conversation to, “there should be a meal replacement bar for dogs.” It turns out there is one, and we interviewed the company to give you an inside look!
The Great Outdogs is an amazing company built by two young adventurous people in Denver, CO. The product is called OutBar, and it is a real food based meal replacement bar for dogs that every adventurer needs for their next trip into the woods or drive into the country or whatever it is that you consider an “adventure.”
Kapil Gopal and Ariana Stein are the founders and owners of The Great Outdogs, and I spoke with both of them, so read on and get the inside scoop on these two vibrant outdoors people and their brilliant idea:
Q: Inspiration is an interesting thing… it can seemingly come out of no where and inhabit our minds. Do you remember that “ah-ha” moment of inspiration where the idea for The Great Outdogs and OutBar hit you?
A: Yes! We have always been lovers of the outdoors, and going on adventures has always been one of our favorite things to do with our dogs. The idea came to us when were hiking with our puppy on the trail. We took a little breather and went to feed our pup, Montana, opening the bag, getting the food, putting it in the bowl, letting her eat, closing the bag, cleaning the bowl, and repacking the bag. While this was happening, we simply grabbed one of our bars and had a quick snack to keep us fueled. We thought, we need one of these for our dogs, and The OutBar idea was born.
Q: How old is the company?
A: The product idea started in the Summer of 2014 when we were in Grad School. It actually started as a grad school project that has continued to develop into a real business. We were licensed in December of 2014, and worked to develop the product, officially launching as a company in May of 2015.
Q: You all focus a lot on adventuring, and on your instagram, it highlights beautiful images of people doing just that… with their canine companion! Why is it so important to you to promote adventuring and was promoting the product to people who were already going on adventures you first focus or was it encouraging MORE people to go on adventures?
A: The original thought was to create this product for people who were hardcore adventurers, and what we realized as our product has developed and been used by so many people, is that adventure is a crowd culture, and it means different things to different people. To some, it means going on a hike up a 14,000ft mountain and for others it means driving out in the country to a place with a view and pulling over and enjoying the scenery with their dog.
Q: I know that building a company and a product/brand is exhausting and can leave you tired and uninspired sometimes. How do you stay motivated in those moments?
A: Our dogs! The business name is actually “Montana,” after our dog, so when we feel tired or worn out, we just look over, see that down feeling reflected in Montana, and we just think, “We don’t want to let you down! We want you to be the most successful dog there is!” That is what keeps us going!
Q: Was OutBar the original idea, or was the adventure culture/lifestyle company the idea that the product grew out of?
A: The company has been product oriented from the beginning. Over time, the product has been surrounded by this culture of adventuring that has formed a lifestyle brand, now behind and driving the product.
Q: Has quality always been a main focus? If so, why?
A: We eat healthy ourselves, and we want to feed our dogs food with quality that is equivalent to what we feed ourselves! However, we know that it is not always possible for people to buy the $100 bag of dog food, so we try and focus on quality and functionality at a reasonable price.
Q: I love how you ask for feedback on your website. This is something that is super valuable to a company, but can also be hard to hear. Has there been a time when the feedback you got was a driving force in the direction of your company?
A: Yes, something comes to mind immediately. When we first started, we went to the Outdoor Retailers trade show in Salt Lake City. Many of the people there were avid outdoors people, and they gave us some great feedback that changed some of the direction of the company. Our name at the time was “Alfa Dog,” and the feedback we got was that the spelling of the name would make it difficult to find us online. This was confirmed by our legal guidance when thinking about trademarks, etc. That is when we decided to rebrand the company product as The Great Outdogs/OutBar.
Q: Tell me about The Great Outdogs team!
A: The team is mainly Ariana and I. We do have people who have helped us get to where we are and continue to help us grow that we also consider team members! Matt Vernon, a classmate in our graduate program at University of Denver, is an amazing marketing mind with great entrepreneurial experience, and he has helped us a lot in our direction as a company. Also, our mentors and professors from school have been huge in helping us get here, and we talk to them every week! Professor Ross Bugully, professor of marketing in our program, specifically, has been a team member of The Great Outdogs. His lifelong marketing experience has been instrumental in our progression! In addition, we worked with a marketing team to help design our packaging and branding concept, and we have now extended that relationship to a friendship that continues to believe and fuel our business concept. Jen Lester and her business partner Randall Erkelens and their team at Philosophy Communication are amazing!
Q: Where is your next adventure?
Q: How can people find you?
A: Go to www.TheGreatOutdogs.com. AND, we would love you to try our product, so here is a coupon code you can use for 10% off your order: PETTREATER or get 3 FREE OUTbars when you sign up for Pet Treater using coupon code OUTBAR! Also, check out The Great Outdogs blog, where Pet Treater was featured recently!
Do you know someone who should be interviewed for Pet Treater Blog?! Email us at [email protected]!