Locals Seafood turns Leftovers into Pet Treats with Wake County Grant

Locals Seafood turns Leftovers into Pet Treats with Wake County Grant


Hi! I’m John Hamlin we’re here with Ryan
Speckman of Locals Seafood in Raleigh where they’re turning leftover seafood
into pet treats thanks in part to a grant from the Wake County Solid Waste
department. Good to be here today! “Thanks for having me!” Can you just
tell me a little bit about what you guys do here and how you got started. About ten years ago I moved from the coast of North Carolina
and when I moved back to Raleigh I realized that there’s a lack of true
local North Carolina product…seafood…in the Triangle so we simply started going
down there and getting the product, bringing it back fresh and whole and then we
process it here in this room…about four tons per week of fish…and then we
distribute it out to restaurants and grocery stores and farmer’s markets
throughout the Triangle. OK and so then how did you come up with this idea? This
idea? About five years ago I was researching raw diets for pets I had a
dog with a weight issue and I began playing around with grinding up our fish
carcasses and feeding it to my dog. You know in the United States the American
consumer typically wants a boneless filet. The rest of the world eats their
fish whole but we don’t here so about half or more than half of the fish…of
the natural resource…actually goes in the trash as a carcass and there’s
actually a lot of good meat left on the carcass but it’s not usable for the
average consumer. OK and so just walk me through a
little bit of the process here how you guys are turning your leftover fish into
dog treats. So we take all of our white fish which basically means no
histamine fish no high mercury fish, we put all of our white fish carcasses into
a meat grinder and grind it into something that looks like
the consistency of hamburger meat and then we take that and package it into
half pound portions and we vacuum package it and then cook it to
make it safer for the dogs and the cats to eat. And then we freeze it and then
we’re gonna sell it as a pet treat that will be a supplement for your dog’s diet
or cat’s diet as well. OK so this is a brand new idea and I understand you guys
have been doing a little bit of tinkering with the recipe and have had
to try to figure it out as you go along? Yeah a lot of it has to do with the
process and we’re not adding any kind of supplements or any kind of additives to
the product it is truly 100% natural. We really wanted to get something
that was gonna be healthy and wholesome for the pets and also figure out a
way to use our waste. You know a lot a lot of the current commercial options like fresh pet and things like that we found that our product here is about
up to 60% more protein. The crude fat and the moisture and the fiber
are all about the same but we have a lot more protein in our product.
OK and you’ve been testing this out with some pets already? Yes we’re
currently in research mode and we have a group of folks who have volunteered
their pets to try it out. So far we’ve had a good response and we’re excited
about the future of the product. So good reviews from all the animals? Apparently!
So it seems like everybody likes it. We’ve had a couple cats that have been little
leery about it but overall it’s been very positive. OK
and so you applied and won a $10,000 grant from us at Wake County and the
Solid Waste Department and that’s a commercial waste reduction grant so give
us an idea of how much commercial waste your operation is going to divert from
our landfill thanks to this new project. So as I said earlier we process about
four tons of fish per week which means a little more than two tons of fish
carcasses are going into the trash and so our goal is possibly by the end of
the year to divert 100% of our organic waste or fish carcasses out of
the landfill and basically into cat’s and dog’s mouths. Wow! that’s great
especially because that’s organic waste which makes greenhouse gases when it
goes into the landfill. We also feel like it’s the most responsible thing to do
because it’s a taxpayer resource and I really hate seeing it go in the trash.
Do you guys have a kind of a green bent to a lot of the things you do
around here? We try to utilize all parts of the
fish even at our oyster bar in downtown Raleigh, we try to use a lot of the
different cuts that you won’t typically see at a grocery store or another
restaurant because we really want to be able to use the entire fish.
We also recycle our oyster shells. We just try to minimize our waste. So when
can people look for these to be able to buy them and where should they look?
We’re shooting for a fall launch. We’re going to be offering it at our farmer’s
markets probably the state farmer’s market and at the Locals Oyster Bar and Fish Market in downtown Raleigh at Transfer Company, that’ll be sometime in the fall
but we have to get through all the research and development first. Well
thanks Ryan! That sounds great. Thanks for having us out today and we look forward
to seeing this hit the shelves! Thanks for stopping by!

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