Not available for everyone, but I thought some of you might like to check out his food ... it looks okay, and is affordable.
Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions launches dog food brand
Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Created: 04/10/2010 07:13:18 PM PDT
Burt Ward is in the business of keeping dogs healthier for longer. The former actor - he played Robin in the 1960s TV series "Batman" - and co-creator of the large breed dog organization Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions has developed a high-end dog food line to which he says nearly doubles the lives of the animals he shelters.
"We measure the success of our business in terms of life," Ward said as he sat near the pool of his Norco home, which doubles as the nonprofit's location.
The average life span of a large-breed dog is about seven years, Ward said.
Until recently, Ward cared for a 21-year-old Great Dane, and still has 18-, 16-, and 14-year-old dogs running around his property with canines half their age.
Ward and wife Tracy, who helps him run the rescue, started producing Gentle Giants dog food about 18 months ago.
The company has taken a unique approach to distribution. The food can only be found in grocery stores in California - about 650 locations. Ward decided to bypass all the boutique and chain pet stores, he said, to make the product more affordable and accessible.
"We save millions of dogs by making it affordable to people," Ward said about the food.
It's working. His product has been on Stater Bros. shelves almost two years and Ward said sales have more than tripled.
"We're just doing absolutely phenomenal," he said.
Jack Brown, chairman and CEO of San Bernardino-based Stater Bros. Markets, confirmed that.
"This product particularly took off very strong," said Brown, who added that the success could be linked to growing "buy local" movements.
"We're a hometown company and we try to support hometown businesses,"
Brown said. "It's not always possible, but we do try."
When Ward launched his product, he had real competition. About 10,000 new items are created every year by manufacturers, Brown said, and about 2,000 "get to the point where they are tested and presented to supermarket chains."
"It's very tough to get placement in a store," Brown said. "It must be a product we believe our customer will purchase and repurchase."
There are 45 to 50 dogs, ranging from 2 to 300 pounds, on Ward's property. They are fed his product daily, which turns out to be 16 large bags - or about 600 pounds.
The food has no fillers like corn or wheat, Ward said, and no added lard. It includes chicken, fish, eggs, nine vegetables, three fruits, four grains, vitamins and Glucosamine.
Ward believes in his product and is passionate about dog food quality.
"There is no dog food in the world that will accomplish what we've accomplished with our dogs," he said.
And he throws out a challenge to every dog owner.
"Compare our dog food to anybody's," Ward said.
How to get it
Gentle Giants dog food is available at Ralphs and Stater Bros. markets, as well as at www.gentlegiantsrescue.com
A 37 1/2-pound bag sells for $34.99.
Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions launches dog food brand - DailyBulletin.com