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Shameless Pets

A sustainable pet treat brand turning misfit and surplus food into tasty, high-quality treats for dogs and cats.

  • Female-Founded
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Sustainable Practices
FOUNDER James Bello & Alex Waite
HEADQUARTERS Chicago, IL
Shameless Pets

Behind the Brand

Shameless Pets was founded by James Bello and Alex Waite. Formerly a corporate food buyer at Target, James witnessed firsthand the massive amounts of food that would go unsold and unused every week. Over time, he grew increasingly concerned about this issue. When he decided to do some more research, James was shocked to discover that 63 million tons of food went to waste each year in the US alone. During dinner one night, James suddenly had his “aha” moment when his puggle, Mina, tried to steal some of his meal. He decided to try rescuing unused ingredients and turning them into healthy, delicious dog treats.

It was a match made in heaven when James, who had never created a food product before, met his eventual co-founder Alex at a startup event. Alex turned out to be a dog lover with a passion for the environment, and she also happened to be a food scientist who had previously developed dozens of commercialized products for large food brands. With her depth of experience, Alex worked on creating 4 all-natural, grain-free dog treat flavors using upcycled ingredients. James and Alex launched their first line of products in October 2018, and today, the Shameless Pets team continues on their mission to transform surplus foods into tasty and high-quality treats for pets.

Meet the Maker

What has been your most unforgettable moment (good or bad) while building your company? - +

ALEX: Meeting the President of a major retailer at a networking event who promised to connect me to their pet buyer and actually did it! It was the first major retailer to take a chance on us.

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time? - +

ALEX: My partner and I love to take our two dogs on new adventures, whether that be exploring somewhere local or finding mountains to climb.

What is an essential part of your daily routine? - +

ALEX: Exercise! I find that ""me time"" really important for both my mind and body.

What is your biggest pet peeve? - +

ALEX: When someone is always late. Totally understand when things come up, but constantly being late is a deal breaker for me.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? - +

ALEX: One of my hobbies is hitting up estate sales on the weekends. I love the thrill of the hunt for a new antique to add to the collection!

What do you want to be remembered for? - +

ALEX: Being a creative person. From creating new products to uniquely designing spaces or events/experiences, I just love the process of taking an idea and making it come to life!

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