ETHINKSTL-EP180-SEASON 14 EP03 – Pat Barron and Dan Schaefer – Native Pet

Joining us today are Dan Schaefer and Pat Barron, Founders of Native Pet, a pet food and nutrition company that makes organic, highly effective and limited ingredient pet supplements for cats and dogs. Pat and Dan are St. Louis natives, friends and passionate pet parents who were discouraged by the declining health of U.S. pets with more pets suffering from obesity, extensive health issues and shorter life spans. 

In this episode: 

Dan explains the long-running friendship that he and Pat have shared and explains that they were bouncing business ideas off each other, long before Native Pet was born. Dan tells us how the concept of Native Pet came to be and says that as first-time pet owners, they became very conscious consumers and realized that the marketing of a healthy pet product didn’t exactly meet up with the product ingredient list. Dan says that entrepreneurially thinking to him means shining the light on the hardworking, most interesting people in business which are the entrepreneurs in the community.  

Dan talks about the evolution of Native Pet. He explains the importance of having a ‘clean’ food for pets and also says that instead of spending a lot of time developing the product, first, they decided to test the brand. Dan explains how they went about with their research to make that part of the phase happen.  

Pat discusses his ornate skills in market research and his ability to dig deep into the bowels of the internet in an effort to build knowledge necessary for the market of ‘clean’ eating organic-based pet foods. Pat says that entrepreneurially thinking to him means local support for the small business community.  

Pat explains what a ‘clean label’ food means and tells us about Native Pet’s product line and what types of products are available for your pets’ individual needs. Pat says he hopes that Native Pet is the leader in functional nutrition for pets and wants to become a trusted brand.  

Dan talks about the importance of making Native Pet a sustainable business and tells us about how friends, family and a few angel investors helped as well as getting involved with Leap Venture Studio, hosted by Mars Petcare, RGA Venture and Nicholson Found Animal Foundation all which landed them the opportunity to be involved in an effort that included a $200,000 investment in Native Pet and a 12-week business mentorship.  

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ETHINKSTL-EP180-SEASON 14 EP03 – Pat Barron and Dan Schaefer – Native Pet