One of the top-ranked dog food companies owned by a Breckenridge man

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With the second highest tier rating on ‘Dog Food Advisor’ of 4-point-5 stars, a Big Country-based dog food company has goals of making the best quality dog food money can buy.

Zach’s Quality Dog Food LL is a meat-based product.

Another cool thing about it is the owner, Daniel Wilis, said he is also the first African-American to own a dog food company in the United States.

“We have no fillers, we have no biproducts, anything like that. We have no corn, no soybean,” owner, Wilis said.

The dog food company has been in business since 2003.

“Just because a dog food is a name brand dog food, don’t mean it’s the best dog food,” Wilis said.

After he left a farm animal feed mill in Hamlin, he decided to start his own private label.

“I saw how they were developing pet food and doing dog food and it’s pretty interesting. I wasn’t thinking at the time that I would get into it,” Wilis said.

He said he hopes his customers will also look at what they digest, just as they are checking for what their dog digests.

“In the dog food industry and even when you’re eating yourself, you start trying to do better, even in your own eating habits, because you see what goes into all of these different foods. You know, I’m a product of different byproducts myself, but Im trying to get off that too because I know what it takes to eat healthy,” Wilis said.

With only a few faithful customers in Breckenridge, he said 98% of business comes from customers outside of Breckenidge, like Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Lubbock, Baton Rouge, New York City and Seattle.

“Some people order out of New York City on a regular basis. They have a lot of different dog foods in New York. We got people in California. They got a lot of different dog foods in Californina. Zach’s has been their choice,” Wilis said.

His products are in most Costco stores, but said  those in the Big Country can buy it at his door step or online.

“That part, I feel like I could probably get emotional,” Wilis said. “For us to be still standing has been a God thing. There’s been people to say, ‘Why don’t you throw in the towel, or wh don’t you give it up?’ ‘Does Zach’s mean that much to you?’ Yes, it does.” 

Regardless, Wilis said to not be discouraged when shooting for your dreams.

“Hang in there, especially if it’s your dream. I’m not saying that you’re not going to get the door slammed in your face, I’m not going to say that you’re not going to hear the word ‘No’. Because you have a vision, don’t mean it’s somebody else’s,” Wilis said.

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