A North East raw food producer is celebrating a golden anniversary this month.
Durham Animals Feeds, based in Rushyford, is marking its 50th anniversary of supplying pet shops, breeders and other manufacturers with raw, natural products.
The company is celebrating with a party at its production site near Newton Aycliffe.
According to a report in the Northern Echo, the family-owned business has gone from strength to strength since it was established in 1969 by Jack and Doreen Hornsby and today is run by their son Peter, and his son, Lee.
Within three generations, the company has grown to become a major raw food producer, supplying pet shops all over the country.
Customers of Durham Animal Feeds have been invited to join staff for a big birthday bash at the Rushyford store tomorrow (Saturday).
Managing director, Lee Hornsby, told the Echo: “We all take great pride in seeing Durham Animal Feeds grow, and we’re delighted to be celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary.
“Opening our second branch at Weston-Super-Mare in 2015 was a big milestone for us and now we’re working hard to expand our factory at Rushyford to keep up with the demand for high-quality, nutritious natural raw food.
“We ethically source all of our products – as many as possible from local suppliers – and our official food tasters Roxy the rottweiler, Lily the British bulldog, and River the German shepherd puppy, insist on testing every new recipe to ensure it meets their high standards before it goes into production.”
Lee said: “It’s funny to think that it used to be just my mam and dad and myself making the food ourselves. These days, we have more than 100 people in the company, with three production lines capable of producing 60 tonnes per day and a further distribution depot for all our Southern customers.
“We have a great team at Durham Animal Feeds, which allows us to be more focused on the strategic side of things. However, it’s always been the case that everyone does every job, so as a family we are still involved in all the day-to-day activities.
“This allows us to work directly with our customers and employees, and we look forward to celebrating this big birthday with them all.”