Julia Von Rhedey of Country Pet Food. Photo by Sydney Blackmore.

It’s time to rethink that kibble you’re putting in Sparky’s food dish, says Julia Von Rhedey. She’s a student of animal nutrition and co-owner of Country Pet Food shop, the pet food manufacturer that provides your precious kitty or doggy with a fresh brand of raw food.

“My aunt and uncle bred boxers for over 20 years here and I worked in their kennel to learn about animal care… I personally have been making this diet for 11 years.”

So what’s in the mix?

“We sell our pre-made meals in 1lb and 8 oz. containers. We use ground meaty bones and organs, fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, celery, apples, pears, kale, broccoli, omega seal oil, alfalfa and kelp in our products.”

Julia says raw feeding is a part of a dog’s or cat’s natural diet.

“Dogs are designed to handle raw foods. Wild dogs, or wolves in a zoo, they’re being fed chunks of raw meat, and little Fluffy differs only 1 to 2 per cent in his genetic sequence, so they’re very close.”

She says the diet’s benefits can range from more energy to healthy weight loss, a calmer temperament, softer and shinier coats, and less fecal matter.

For those who’d like to learn more about raw feeding and whether this diet could work for your pet, contact Country Pet Foods at 765-1260 or drop by the store at the Hamlyn Road Plaza to have a chat with Julia.

Ohmigawd. Shoes.
Water Street’s Gallery Shoes stepped up last month and opened a new shop in Churchill Square called G2 Shoes.

“St. John’s needed another shoe location and we’re that funky new store,” says Erin, G2’s manager and faithful shoe apostle. “We carry higher end brands here, but we want to bring in items that are a fair price to the MUN students living in the area.”

So what’s hot for shoe-philes this summer?

“The hot shoe we have right now is called Nice by BCBG. It’s a high heel shoe, pointy toe and it’s got a paint splash on it. This season, the shoes are full of colour.”

Growing business

At one time, Lester Farm Inc. on Pearltown Road was mainly a fruit and vegetable processing business that shipped to the country’s food retail outlets. Then, in 2006, everything changed.

“The market was no longer available to us,” says farmer Jim Lester. “There’s only two major food retailers in Canada and Newfoundland has a really small percentage of the national retail market. We had to redevelop our farm in a very short period of time.”

For three years, Jim has been working to fit his farm’s services under the umbrella of agritourism.

“The principle of agritourism is that you want to add value to the products you produce on your farm and keep direct contact with the customers you’re selling to,” he says.

Lester’s Farm is planning to use its goods to attract visitors over the summer months.

“We’re going to show visitors how to prepare local vegetables and meats, and then serve a meal for breakfast and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays.” For the remaining days, events will be offered that will give outsiders the whole farm experience.

“Our main target for all of our initiatives is to produce as many of the ingredients in these packages as possible,” he says.

He is hoping that by July 1st these services should be available, but regulations might slow him down in this case.

“The municipal regulations in the agricultural zone clearly states that we are not allowed to sell products out of a building,” says Jim. These regulations are supposed to promote farming in the province, something that Jim’s agritourism plan would do, so Jim suggests a revision may be in order.

“It’s just time to re-write the regulations. Farming is an evolving industry.”

In the meantime, Lester Farms Inc. has constructed a public assembly building for their fare, and hopes that the public will check them out there.

Buon appetito!

Correction: In the print edition we referred to Che Bello as “Che Bella”. We regret the error. :/

Last week, at 377 Duckworth, Che Bello debuted as the city’s premiere ristorante for Italian food lovers. Gail Chancey is Che Bello’s ‘al cuoco’ (chef) and the one time owner of Bruno’s Italian Restaurant on Water Street which closed in 2002. She learned her hand at Italian cuisine from her late partner, Bruno, and his mother. Both were Italian-born and were masters in the kitchen.

“I have over 30 years of cooking Italian and everybody seems to enjoy the foods,” says Gail.

At Che Bello, Gail has created an authentic Italian menu filled with her special homemade recipes.

“Everything is going to be made from scratch, with all fresh ingredients. We’ve got everything from lasagna, spaghetti, to osso buco and veal. So there’s something there for everybody.”

“…But no pizza, because I don’t want this to be a pizzeria, I want this to be a restaurant,” she says.

To make a reservation at Che Bello or book an event in their private room, call 579-6806.

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  1. Elling Lien · May 23, 2011

    Blogger The Ethical Butcher has a few interesting things to say about feeding your dog here:

    “Until the last century or so, dogs ate whatever scraps they found, not pellets. They are omnivorous scavengers, and as such they should be eating all sorts of foods. This in mind, I began researching homemade dog food, learning what foods are never OK, what foods are and how to cook them, supplements, etc. I also found many ready-made fresh, raw foods in some of the nicer pet stores in my then home, Seattle. I first started with these, and found that he most enjoyed a raw ground turkey and veggie blend. Remember though, I was vegan, as in I-have-a-vegan-tattoo vegan. However, I didn’t believe that my dog needed to be vegan.”

  2. Craig · May 23, 2011

    You know, if the name of the store actually was “Ohmigawd! Shoes!” I think that would be a considerably more interesting name than “G2 Shoes”.