New Webster business is a deli for pets
The Pet Food Project specializes in 100% customizable raw meals for cats and dogs
Webster, NY - A unique Webster business has been making local headlines across Rochester, New York, revolutionizing the way your pets eat.
The Pet Food Project is a locally owned, full-service pet deli - the first of its kind in Rochester.
“At Pet Food Project, we specialize in 100% customizable raw meals for dogs and cats,” said Tony Tortorici, the chef and co-owner at the Pet Food Project. “We offer meals which are made to order according to our customer's specifications from the highest quality, all natural, local ingredients.”
The deli also offers a wide range of products for clients who prefer to make their own pet food. Customers can choose their own proteins, starches, veggies, and fruits for their pet's meal via the Pet Food Project website.
“We do however highly recommend that our customers call or email us with any specific dietary needs, as we are able to tweek and change ingredients or ratios of ingredients to their liking,” said Tortorici.
In addition to being locally owned, the deli only uses small family-run NYS farms for its supplies.
“We can tell you where every duck, rabbit, chicken, cow and pig was raised, and the farm that they came from,” said Tortorici.
The Pet Food Project is not a family-run business itself, as it has only been operating for a couple months now “and our children are still little, with another little one joining us in June,” said Tortorici.
Tortorici says the vision for the Pet Food Project started with co-founder Sergei Sulik.
“He saw the demand for high quality pet food in a market that is infamous for using low quality ingredients, byproducts, and fillers,” said Tortorici. “We sat down and started discussing how we could add value to the pet food market by being 100% transparent in the ingredients that we are using while also supporting small family-run farms and empowering our customers to make their own choices in how their pet is fed.”
So why did the Pet Food Project choose Webster as the location for the very first pet deli in Rochester?
Well, there are a number of reasons…
For one, the location is close to the deli’s main supplier, Headwater Food Hub.
“Headwater Food Hub takes such good care of us and we are very fortunate to be so close to them,” said Tortorici.
Tortorici says they also love being on Ridge Road.
“We get plenty of free exposure from the cars driving by,” said Tortorici, “plus we have a beautiful view of Creekedge Farm Market. We are also pretty excited about the Country Max opening up across the street as we are hoping that will bring even more pet lovers to our area.”
The Infamous Challenge of COVID
Many businesses have struggled to keep their doors open during the pandemic. So one has to admire a new business opening its doors with COVID-19 still going strong.
“COVID has been a challenge,” admitted Tortorici.
Tortorici says they were originally set to open last spring - around the same time the first shutdown began.
“We didn't feel comfortable opening until October with everything that was going on,” said Tortorici.
Even then, just a few weeks into opening, a major chunk of Rochester was designated as an orange zone.
“Where COVID has impacted us the most is that our business works best when we have customers coming in and talking to us about their pet's needs,” said Tortorici. “We thrive off of open dialogue, which lends us a better understanding of what our customers want and need.”
And as other businesses - most notably restaurants - have been utilizing technology to adjust the way they service customers, the Pet Food Project has had a tougher time in this area.
“We are not particularly tech savvy, so it's been a big learning curve for us,” said Tortorici.
Since the Pet Food Project was planning the way it would conduct business long before COVID-19 was even on the horizon, the sudden change in the economic climate brought with it a slew of new factors to consider.
“Pre-COVID, we saw ourselves as a full-service, walk-in pet deli,” said Tortorici. “Now, in the midst of COVID, we are making that transition to catering to online customers, delivery, and no-contact pick-up, as well as having to take a more contemporary approach and utilize social media to lend more visibility to our message, our products, and our services.”
In spite of the pandemic and the unexpected learning curve, the Pet Food Project is dedicated to its vision, and is determined to transform and improve the eating experience for our furry friends.
Customers can shop at the Pet Food Project in-person or order online.
“We encourage any customer who requires something that they can't order online to call or email us, and we will be able to process their custom order,” said Tortorici.
The Pet Food Project is located at:
680 Ridge Road
Webster, NY 14580
For more information, their email is email@example.com and their phone number is (585) 787-4044.