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Just Go Grind

Jan 29, 2021

Javier Marriott and Ruth Stedman Marriott are co-founders of A Pup Above, a company committed to changing dog food for good by using fresh real ingredients that dog parents can trace back to the source farm-to-bowl. On average, they deliver +70% more protein than other fresh dog food products in retail & online.  Tired of not knowing what was really in their dog Lola's bowl, Ruth and Javier set out to make it effortless to know what's in your pup's bowl and to feel good knowing you're providing them a food that's both healthy and delicious. Their fresh pup meals are gently cooked sous-vide to deliver exceptional flavor, more nutrients and more protein in every bite. All of their ingredients are 100% human-grade and their packaging is 100% recyclable.

About Our Partner

This episode is brought to you Varia Search. Varia Search is a boutique legal recruiting firm that uses a bespoke approach to fill legal department roles from general counsel to paralegal. They have a particular focus on startups and growing tech companies.

They are a boutique firm which allows them to provide individualized, in-depth attention to both their clients and to their searches.

They focus solely on placing in-house candidates which allows them to give their clients a bespoke experience in filling their legal needs.

Their matchmaking approach ensures that clients are paired with candidates who not only have great credentials but who are also a good cultural fit for a growing company.

Learn more at

Some of the Topics Covered by Javier and Ruth in this Episode

  • What A Pup Above is, and how Javier and Ruth's dog Lola inspired the company
  • The gap they found in the dog food market
  • The first steps Javier and Ruth took to start the company
  • The sous vide cooking style and its benefits
  • Finding a vet nutritionist to work with
  • How they approached early customer acquisition, feedback and growth for A Pup Above
  • Making the switch from a commercial kitchen to a USDA human-grade food production facility
  • How they got into retail by starting local and eventually expanded
  • Selling in retail stores versus online
  • The challenges they've faced in scaling the business
  • How they view competition and what sets A Pup Above apart
  • How their product has evolved over the years
  • How they handle the challenge of forecasting inventory
  • How they've approached pricing as a premium product
  • What has helped them grow as entrepreneurs
  • The experience of co-founding a business with your spouse
  • The decision to bootstrap A Pup Above
  • Their advice for entrepreneurs

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