That was in 2007. At the time, Ardalan was a recent UC Santa Cruz graduate and was running a successful
delivery-only late night eatery. After 2 ½ years of ardent research and development into how best to care for and feed a pup with Foxy’s allergies (she had previously been feeding Foxy only homemade food), Foxy Treats was born. And Ardalan, for her part, had found a new calling.
“I closed my other business … and moved back onto my parents’ farm to dedicate myself to Foxy Treats and animal welfare advocacy,” she said.
The business specializes in organic and sustainable pet products designed to “improve the overall well being of our pets and planet.” The products, she said, are made without the use of preservatives, additives, genetically modified organisms, corn, wheat or soy. Furthermore, the company is licensed by the state to commercially produce food — unlike many other food companies, Ardalan said. Foxy Treats has even been granted “San Diego Grown 365” certification by the San Diego County Farm Bureau.
“Even the treat packaging is eco-friendly and compostable,” she said. “Foxy Treats is the culmination of my love and passion for dogs of all breeds.”
The venture, indeed, has roots close to her heart.
“I’m a native San Diegan who has been fortunate enough to grow up in Valley Center where some of the best organic farms exist,” she said. It’s really important to me to know who grows the produce I put into my products. Foxy Treats is proud to support sustainable and ethical farms such as JR Organics and Stehly Farms Organics.”
Though going organic is not something unique to Southern California, Ardalan said Foxy Treats might enjoy particular success here because of the nature of our penchant in America’s Finest for stopping at nothing to give our pets the most comfortable existence possible.
“San Diegans love to be social with their pets, especially if they can help other animals at the same time,” she said. “Plus, San Diego is home to some of the best animal shelters and nonprofit organizations in the country.”
Foxy Treats works with organizations like the Helen Woodward Animal Center, where the products can be purchased and 100 percent of the proceeds go to help orphaned animals.
As for who typically treats their pet to Ardalan’s environmentally and socially conscious goodies, there doesn’t seem to be an archetypal customer.
“It’s difficult to classify our clientele into any one category,” she said. “Our customers simply want the best for their pets regardless of age, address or income. They choose Foxy Treats because they appreciate how much labor and love go into hand-making each and every treat.”
Ardalan is committed not only to Foxy’s health, but also to the ideals and values that go into the company. As part of her pet welfare and organic farming advocacy she has developed a cooking class that can be tailored to suit the goals of individual students called “Doggy & Me: An Organic Lifestyle for Pet and Owner.” Ardalan will visit students in their own home to discuss how they can make “ecologically sound choices” for both pet and owner.
Coming up, Ardalan and Foxy will be making an appearance as part of Team Low Rider, an all-corgi fundraising team that will collect much-needed donations for the Escondido Humane Society and will walk on March 25 at EHS’ Paws in the Park. In anticipation for the event, Foxy Treats and Team Low Rider will host a fundraising party at Iron Fist Brewing Company’s tasting room in Vista. The party will coincide with a birthday celebration for Foxy, who will turn 5 years old. The date is tentatively set for March 9.
“Foxy thinks the greatest gift of all is the gift of a forever-family,” Ardalan said. “It’s her mission to make sure every four-legged friend has a loving family to cuddle up with at night.”
For more information, visit www.foxytreats.com.
Foxy Treats will be offering a Valentine’s special on Give The Deal’s website starting Feb. 2, and the offer will run for one week. The offer includes a Doggy&Me Valentine’s Day Special for $149, complete with a four-course gourmet dinner for 2 + pet(s) made from local organic ingredients; complimentary bubbly included. Participants will enjoy a private dinner or cooking class in the comfort of their own home. The evening will be crafted to satisfy their specific tastes, dietary requirements and educational goals/interests.