Local business counts dogs as co-workers

A San Diego-based dog food company is working on being named one of the best places to work in America for the sixth year in a row, even though it asks its employees to try the dog food as well.

The Honest Kitchen first started producing dog food in Pacific Beach in 2002. It's now located in San Diego's East Village with about 10,000 customers worldwide.

Outside Magazine has named the company one of the "Best Places to Work" for five straight years. It helps that employees get monthly massages at their desks and they can bring their dogs to work every day. The dogs are more like co-workers.

"We would really go beyond saying we're a pet-friendly business. We're actually a pet-centric office," said founder and CEO Lucy Postins. "For the most part, they are involved 100 percent of the time, even when we have our board meetings."

The Honest Kitchen is one of only two companies in America making dog food out of food that is 100 percent human grade quality food. Most dog foods are not.

"We really have a mission to raise the bar in the industry," said Postins. "Dogs and cats are part of the family, and we really believe that they should be fed as such."

The Honest Kitchen crew will develop dog foods in an onsite kitchen and test it out on themselves and the dogs.

"There's literally nothing in our food that we can't taste ourselves," said Postins. "The passion for animals is really one of the biggest things that's anchoring everything we do."

Postins started The Honest Kitchen as a simple online order business, but it has since expanded.

She anticipates producing more than 7 million pounds of dog food this year.

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