Raw dog food maker comes to Gilroy

Peter Voss is moving his business to Alexander Street in Gilroy.

Gilroy is about to get a new dog food company thanks to Hollister’s looser cannabis cultivation laws and the run up on building prices they are bringing about.

Green Tripe, which sells millions of dollars a year of raw dog food around the world, is leaving Hollister after more than a decade because its landlord sold his 9,000-square-foot building for hundreds of thousands of dollars over the asking price—in cash. With legalized marijuana in the city, cannabis growers have been speculating on buildings in the industrial district.

A neighboring building valued at $900,000 sold for $2.1 million in cash and its owner applied, but was denied, a cannabis permit.

Green Tripe, which is owned by husband and wife Mary and Peter Voss and has five full-time and three part-time employees, is moving to Alexander Street in Gilroy, even though owner Mary Voss said they offered the Hollister landlord the same $1.2 million price for a building that was listed for $600,000, but the competitors paid in cash.

The couple paid $1.45 million for the 8,387 square foot Gilroy location at 7238 Alexander St., behind the Caltrain station, which was last occupied by Mission Powder Coating. Gilroy wasn’t their first choice because the move will be expensive, but the prices of Hollister industrial buildings has gone up too much because of cannabis speculation and buyers who are paying in cash for them to have stayed there.

“Every place in San Benito was gone,” said Mary Voss, who owns the company with her husband, Peter. “Everything in Gilroy was gone too. It was really stressful to find a place. But this one will be better for us. It’s smaller, but the layout is better.”

The Voss’s started the company in 1998, as just a domain name. They had lived in the Netherlands for a decade, both working as engineers for Phillips, and they saw dogs there eating raw food–specifically, tripe, the stomachs of ruminating animals. When they returned to the States, they couldn’t find any of it here.

They found some for their own dogs and Mary started a website about the health benefits of tripe–which is actually brown, but has a tinge of green from the grass the animals eat. The Afghan Hounds she raised on the raw meat were strong competition dogs that lived healthily for more than 18 years.

She wrote articles about it, including one called “No Guts, No Glory,” and spent a year finding local small slaughterhouses to buy the less desirable parts of slaughtered animals for humans and built a plant to grind them up, package them and freeze them for dogs.

In 2003, they began manufacturing in a small building and moved to a bigger location in 2007 at 807 Industrial Drive, in Hollister.

The business took off as breeders, owners of competitive dogs and police departments began spreading its praise.

“Initially when I started the website, I just wanted people to know about green tripe,” said Mary. “I had so much success with it. We know it does wonders for the dogs and they thrive on it. I didn’t intend on making it a business. I was a software engineer.”

The food brings domesticated dogs back to their evolutionary diet when they were wild wolves. Voss said her dogs never needed dental work from the diet.

“So how can something so disgusting, be so good?” she writes on her website, greentripe.com. “These same gastric juices and enzymes not only aid the animal in digestion, but also aid the dog in digesting and efficiently utilizing his food. The amino acids are necessary for muscular development and, the other gastric juices, I believe, are the best cleaner for their teeth!”

The tripe is made from animals that are fed organic grass and lived near Hollister or in the Central Valley. The animals all pass standards for human consumption.

Green Tripe was featured on a 2008 episode of the Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs along with a business that traps leeches.

Leave your comments