“Necessity is the mother of invention” often applies to makers and entrepreneurs who stumble upon a small business idea after they have been busy solving a problem of their own. Kate McCarron’s own story is no exception. Her efforts to find a sufficiently nutritious food that her aging dog would find palatable led her to start researching both online and in books. She began to see that it was possible to make a quality cooked dog food that would be both sufficiently nutritious as well as tasty to her finicky canine. The nutritional requirements for dogs are different than for that of humans, however. When McCarron realized there was a market for what she was creating and decided to make it a business she, armed with a copy of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) handbook, contacted Portland’s Food Innovation Center. They worked with her on formulations and recipes, a lengthy process of testing and retesting. There are numerous markers for proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals that need to be met before a dog food can officially be labeled “full and balanced.” Portland_Pet_Food_11 McCarron’s recipes are made with the highest-quality natural, human-grade meats, vegetables and grains – all sourced from local, sustainable farms – but the end result is still a few degrees short of what is required for full certification as a single-diet food by AAFCO. But she is happy with the “supplemental” and “rotational” meal designation, as her foods are well formulated for a dog’s nutritional needs. It also satisfies the needs of her customers, who tell her it is a welcomed addition to their elder dogs’ diet; good for dogs whose teeth can no longer chew hard kibble; the perfect food in which to disguise supplements and medications. Starting out originally at the Beaverton Farmers Market, she now also sells to local pet food retailers, grocery and specialty stores, as well as directly from her web site. Portland_Pet_Food_18 Portland_Pet_Food_08 Recently she has added a line of dog treats into the mix – a “brew biscuit” made with local spent grains as well as a grain-free option – and has an eye toward the future to be able to provide a “shelf-stable” food that doesn’t require freezing/refrigeration. This would enable her to ship farther away – frozen food is heavy and expensive to ship – and McCarron has her eye toward expansion. Five percent of her profits are donated to various dog organizations, and during the holidays she makes sure a bag of dog treats gets tucked into Meals on Wheels food boxes. It’s all a part of the dedication that McCarron has to the quality and consciousness of her dog food. “You wouldn’t want to eat the same thing every day, why should your dog? Plus, we do the dishes.”

www.portlandpetfoodcompany.com

Portland Made Branding

More and more consumers are valuing independently made, locally sourced goods. Let customers know you are Portland Made by branding your website and product packaging.

 

Portland brands

GROWTH MEMBERSHIP

Designed for more established businesses who want their products seen and their story told, our Growth Membership offers the greatest online exposure, including products, related content, and links directing consumers back to your website. Showcase your products in our online Shop, include your photo in our Featured Maker Gallery, and add your logo to our Brand Gallery. Your Featured Bio tells your story, has a slider of your brand images, and highlights any related blog posts and products you may have on PortlandMade.com. Share your news, events, and product releases in our blog, newsletter and social media channels.

STARTUP MEMBERSHIP

Our Startup Membership includes a one on one session to check in about your business and get some free feedback to remove obstacles and/or develop your business. It includes your logo in our Brand Gallery, as well as your brand’s Bio Page, where others can see a brief overview of your business, and a link to your website, Etsy shop or Instagram account. Looking to show off your products or for added services? See our Growth Membership, and/or optional add-on services.

IDEA MEMBERSHIP

It all starts with an idea. This stage of membership is designed for those who have an inkling for what they want to do, but may be hazy on the details. Maybe you want to connect with other makers, or you need product photos or a business consultation to help get you to the next level.

Brand Bio

When visitors click on your logo in the Brand Gallery they are taken to your Brand Bio page. This page includes your logo, a product photo, brand story, and link back to your website or shop page.

Portland maker Membership

Maker Meetup

This monthly, one-of-a kind networking event is FREE for members; $15 for non-members. Crafted to be the most useful hour and half a maker can spend on their business each month, this event aims to: expose makers to new workshops, connect makers with each other, and learn from experts.

portland maker events

 

Access to Vetted Resources

Connect with talented professional service providers and subcontractors, offering the range of services small businesses need to thrive. Our online Resources page highlights those we recommend and trust.

Portland Made service providers and vendors

Inclusion in Brand Gallery

Add your logo to the collective’s Brand Gallery. Visitors can peruse brands by category, and click to see your Brand Bio page (for Startup tier), or Featured Bio page (Growth tier).

Portland Brands

Featured Brand Bio

For makers looking for greater exposure, your Featured Brand Bio includes your logo, a slider of images, your brand story, and link back to your website or online shop. As well, this featured page showcases products you have in Portland Made’s online Shop and any related Journal posts you may have on our site.

Visitors can navigate to your Featured Bio from the Brand Gallery and, for those with a professional photo included in Featured Makers, from this gallery as well.

Maker Membership

Your News & Events shared in our Blog,
Newsletter, and Social Media

Broadcast your news, product releases, upcoming events, job openings and more, across Portland Made’s website and social media outlets. Share news content with Portland Made’s consumer audience and maker communities.

Portland maker news

Your Products in our online Shop

Showcase your goods in Portland Made’s online Shop. Visitors can see your product/s and description on the Shop page, and are directed to your personal website. Your product detail page is great for added SEO and as well directs visitors to your personal site.

Inclusion in Featured Makers

Add your maker photo to our Featured Makers gallery. The most prominent page in the Discovery menu, this gallery highlights you as a Portland maker, shows your business name when hovering on your photo, and clicks through to your Featured Bio page where visitors can get an in depth look at your business and visit your personal website.

Portland Made membership perks

Complimentary Business Consultation

Meet for a one on one business consultation to assess the health of your business and identify areas for improvement. 

Jim Hassert, Portland

Preferred Creator Market Vendor

We’ve teamed up with WeWork to produce Creator Market, a semi-annual event hosted in their beautiful westside location. All Growth members can apply first (no application fee), and if you get accepted you vend for free as well.

Portland Made market

 

Product Detail page

Show off your goods! This page is where consumers can see your goods in more detail. It includes a photo, description, and prominent link to your site where they can buy directly from you.

Portland Made goods