Peoria dog owner launches dog food line

Open For Business
It’s only the best for Samantha Hutchison’s two and a half year old Dogue De Bordeaux, Bear.
“If I can’t pronounce it, I didn’t want it in their food,” she said.

But feeding the bashful Bear has posed its own set of challenges. He’s allergic to chicken and grain—a prominent staple in most dog food. So Hutchison had to get creative. 

She said, “We researched and we wanted good quality meat and no chemicals in it. So that’s when we found Little Blue’s Farm. It’s all hormone-free, steroid free. You know they don’t use antibiotics unless they have to.”

Partnering with the local farm, Hutchison came up with her business “Bear’s Bites.” She makes single-ingredient dog treats out of her home. 

“We take just straight meat or sweet potatoes or bananas and we cut it up into smaller pieces and then it goes into our dehydrator here,” she said.

The treats, that she says are safe for dogs and humans too, can take anywhere between 12-32 hours to make. While Hutchison has never had a formal business background, the Peoria native started dehydrating foods 10 years ago for her previous dogs who had allergies. 

“We want dogs to have the good treats because when you go to the store, you don’t know the quality of the meat it is for the treats,” Hutchison said. “You don’t really know if there’s cross contamination or anything like that.”

After a year in business, Hutchison says Bear’s Bites is thriving thanks to the help of her boyfriend, friends, family and her quality control expert, Bear.

She says, “That’s part of why we’re doing well because I love people and I love dogs and we’re helping.”

You can find Bear’s Bites online. Hutchison is in talks with national chains to put the treats in stores across the country. 

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