When Alex Ramsey and Wes Callaghan met in primary school, they couldn’t have predicted that the Ramsey family’s pet Schnauzer would prompt them to launch a business together as adults.
Sadly, the beloved Kipper only got to the age of eight. Digestion-related issues were to blame, which the vet attributed in large part to the inadequate nature of the dog’s diet. Like many families, they had simply trusted the mass-produced products they bought straight off the supermarket shelf.
When Danny entered the picture, Alex Ramsey was older and wanted more for his new four-legged friend. Having learned the hard way that dogs require a complete and balanced diet, Ramsey pulled a pot out of his grandmother’s kitchen cupboard and got cooking.
“Chicken breast, broccoli and carrot; I started cooking him meals to get fresh, real nutrients into his diet,” recalls Ramsey, noting the positive results showed up in everything from Danny’s energy levels, coat health and test results. “His blood work was like when he was a puppy again,” Ramsey says.
However, when he went looking to buy fresh, healthy and locally made pet food he couldn’t find any. “That was when the light bulb lit up!” he says of how Perfect Bowl materialised.
Using only human-grade meat, poultry and vegetables to ensure freshness and quality, Perfect Bowl draws on a variety of different recipes that are gently cooked and delivered straight to your doggy-door at home.
“Alex and I were 22 and 21 when we had the idea; little did we know then that a few short months later, we would be leaving our full-time jobs, pouring in our savings and making the dream come true,” says Wes Callaghan, on partnering with his lifelong friend and who, together, now have a Perfect Bowl commercial space in the heart of the Northern Beaches.
“We are serving thousands of meals per week to dogs all across Sydney,” says Ramsey of their rapid growth over the past two years.
Perfect Bowl has worked with vets and other experts to ensure their recipes meet AAFCO requirements, which is the recognised standard for dog food to ensure it meets the ‘‘complete and balanced’’ nutritional criteria.
“While working with our animal nutritionist, Danny was always front of mind for me. I wanted uncompromised recipes, no cheap fillers, no preservatives, only ingredients that would help him thrive,” explains Ramsey, adding that the company’s meals are also available from stockists such as Bondi Vet Hospital, PETstock stores and specialty pet retailers.
“If you’ve ever eaten produce straight from the farm, you’ll know that the fresher the ingredient the more full of flavour it is,” says Callaghan on why Perfect Bowl sources all its ingredients from the same suppliers as do top Sydney restaurants. Indeed, this ambitious and altruistic pair are doing more than just extending the health and longevity of fur babies in loving homes.
“The upsetting truth is that hundreds of thousands of dogs don’t have a home or family to provide for them,’’ says Ramsey. ‘‘We want to use our voice to amplify the importance of causes dedicated to re-homing animals.” As a result, the pair have committed to donating $1 of every sale to canine charity Pound Paws.
Perfect Bowl’s passion for pooches and commitment to quality is a winning mix. “We have a 4.9 star rating on all of our review channels,” says Ramsey. “It’s because we really do view all dogs as if they are Danny.”