A born and raised Austinite, our Founder, Wesley Cooper, was living in New York City and had just begun his career in the CPG industry. Already passionate about sustainability, he began to pay closer attention to his industry's impact. As he learned more about our current agricultural system and the true impact of our meat dependence, he was overwhelmed.
While reading through different articles online about sustainability and the challenges we face with meat, Wesley stumbled on a publication by the UN that explained the future potential for edible insects. Already an adventurous eater, Wesley became enthralled with this idea and purchased cricket powder online to see what it was all about.
Still at his full-time job, Wesley would fill his free time playing around with different recipes and unique applications for cricket protein. He discovered that crickets have a nutty, umami flavor, and eventually developed a protein cookie recipe (for humans).
In February 2020, Wesley launched a Kickstarter campaign for the protein cookies. 5 days after the launch, Wesley was on his way to grab a coffee with one of his advisors when he saw an ad on the subway for a dog food that used human-grade meat. Now immersed in this new world of sustainable proteins, he remarked at how unsustainable that was. The idea for pet food clicked.
Wesley delved into the intricacies of the pet food industry. As someone who grew up with pets and who always fed them the "vet recommended" kibble, he couldn't believe what he learned. It was another industry that was destroying not just the environment, but also harming the health of our beloved pets. On one end of the spectrum was "Big Kibble" - with their highly-processed burnt brown balls and low-quality, unsustainable ingredients. On the other end of the spectrum were the fresh food companies that used human-grade meats. He realized that while these new, fresh foods were doing a great job solving the health problems "Big Kibble" has created over the past 60 years, they were still using extremely unsustainable protein sources.
Armed with cricket protein, Wesley decided the pet food industry was in much greater need of a sustainable upgrade than his protein cookies would ever offer the human food industry.
He connected with a vet nutritionist to formulate recipes that were focused on whole-food, human-grade ingredients that were fresh, unprocessed, and easy on the environment.
Neo Bites Pet Food was born.
When COVID-19 hit, Wesley moved back home to Austin, TX to work full-time on Neo Bites and launch in his favorite city in the world. Neo Bites is now proud to call Austin home.
Neo Bites' recipes are exactly what our pets and planet need: Biologically appropriate, high-quality nutrition that's easy on the planet.
All Neo Bites dog food and treats are handmade with love in small batches in Austin, TX.