When I first came across KIN Dog Food on Instagram, I remember being impressed with their products and branding. But what’s the most impressive, which you wouldn’t know at a glance, is how it all came about.
The story began in 2012 with KIN Dog Food’s boss Bianca and her Great Dane, Balu. By the time he was four months old, Balu was plagued by skin issues and hip dysplasia. He was suffering and scared. Fortunately, he had Bianca who never gave up on him.
A year of trying to find answers and solutions with various vets in Bali was unsuccessful. Bianca then decided to send his blood work to the UK for an allergy test.
When the results came in, it surprised her that he was allergic to common ingredients present in almost every kibble. That included rice, corn, soy, oats, peas, and potatoes. Usually, on the bottom of an allergy test, you will find a vet recommended diet. But in Balu’s case, his recommended diet was “none”.
That eventually led Bianca to discover raw diet for dogs. However, times were different then. There was a lack of information on raw dog food and many people feared it. But left with no other choice, she decided to just give it a try.
After four months, Balu’s wounds healed, his fur became shiny, and he was reborn! Even his hips improved and he started to run, jump, and play like any healthy pup.
Friends started asking Bianca to make extra food for their dogs and it soon became a business. Fast forward to today, KIN Dog Food is providing Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) to dogs in multiple Indonesian cities and still expanding.
Curious to know more? Read on as we chat about KIN Dog Food and their newly launched store in Bali with Bianca herself!
What’s the meaning of “KIN”?
- One’s family and relations.
We consider and treat our dogs as family. Kin means exactly that.
How did people react to you feeding Balu raw meat at first?
Some people would send me articles about the dangers of raw food. It was frustrating as I wasn’t as educated as I am now about raw feeding and a lot of the articles at the time were against it.
At the same time, there were people who reacted positively to me creating Balu’s meals. It was because of them that I started KIN in the first place.
In your opinion, what’s an ideal diet for dogs and why?
A raw diet, obviously (haha). But most importantly, one that rotates between various protein sources.
The diet must contain high-quality muscle meat as the foundation, complete with properly sourced organ and bone. I also believe in including a low percentage of vegetable and fruit to provide a wider range of nutrients, such as fiber and antioxidants.
I’ve seen first hand how much Balu benefited and healed from eating a raw diet. This proves to me that feeding raw promotes a healthier dog in every way possible. You can read our customer testimonials here.
We all know that humans are healthier when they eat fresh food so why would it be any different with dogs?
How has your KIN Dog Food grown since you first started?
At the very beginning, it was just me making around 50 to 100kg of food per week.
As more people ordered, I hired my first worker who produced 200 to 300kg per week. Today, we produce over 3 tonnes of food per week.
What goes into developing each recipe?
Reading the latest research on raw feeding, filling in nutritional gaps with each protein, sourcing, and a lot of testing on my own dogs. I would observe how they react to the taste and texture, how their stool is, and so on.
What are some challenges you faced while growing the business?
The business grew very fast and very quickly ran out of space for both production and storage. We had to rent new spaces just to store stock.
We had little capital to buy new machines. The small scale mincers we started out with would often break down and this would mean losing multiple days for production.
We love your branding! Did you do it all on your own?
Thanks. Yes, it was all done in-house by myself and my husband who is a graphic designer.
I have a strong vision of how KIN should look and feel and that is backed by my husband’s design principles. It’s not always smooth sailing but we end up complementing each other’s skills.
Speaking of design, your new store, KIN Dog Goods looks awesome! Tell us more about it.
My husband and I are very particular with design and we know what we like. We have designed many spaces – from cafes to our own house – together.
Both of us wanted the store to look more like a high-end boutique than a pet store. We achieved that with a clean, simple aesthetic and minimal materials.
The food side is tiled floor to ceiling, resembling a butcher shop. The pet accessories side is plain rendered cement.
The black and white design of our store serves as a simple backdrop for our product range, which features simple yet bold packaging with large single colour typography, to pop.
How was it like launching your first physical store?
A lot of work. KIN Dog Food has a relatively small product range of around 50 products. To launch the store, we expanded the range to almost 300, which includes imported supplements and accessories from around the world.
Also, KIN Dog Food, for the most part, was a B2B company early on. We outsourced our deliveries and used local resellers to distribute throughout Indonesia. Opening a physical store means more work but it also means that we get to meet our customers face-to-face.
We’ve already gotten to meet some great doggy customers of all sizes, from Chihuahuas to St Bernards.
Why did you decide to venture outside of just food?
I’ve always wanted to have my own pet store since I was little. I was lucky enough to stumble into a business doing something I am passionate about.
I was already importing supplements for my own dogs and mixing their food with different cuts of raw meat that we weren’t selling commercially.
Many people asked me where they could get those supplements in Indonesia or where to get the ingredients I used in my dogs’ meals that I shared on Instagram.
So, I thought the timing was right to expand and create KIN Dog Goods to complement KIN Dog Food.
We would love to visit you one day. Are you looking to expand beyond Indonesia?
Currently, we are focusing on Indonesia. Our KIN Dog Goods store in Bali is a bit of a test. We would love to expand and open another store in Jakarta in the future.
What are some pet brands that you love?
Raw Feeding Miami, Adored Beast, and Augustine Approved.
What advice would you give dog parents who are deciding what to feed their dogs?
Watch the documentary Pet Fooled and take the initiative to research on what’s best for your dog.
Think for yourself – it’s common knowledge that for us humans to be healthy, we should eat fresh and eliminate processed food. It should be no different for our dog’s diet.
Visit KIN Dog Goods in Bali!
We agree that a raw diet is the way to go for a healthy pup. If you are heading to Bali, why not pop by KIN Dog Goods to see what they have to offer? It’s just a short drive away from the heart of Seminyak!