June 30, 2017
Tim and I (Marissa) of Absolute Pawfection were invited to take a tour of the Lotus micro-cannery in Torrance, CA last Tuesday. We were intrigued and excited having never been on a tour of a pet food manufacturing facility of any kind before and wondered what it would be like… Should we bring nose plugs? Will there be barrels of indiscernible meat mixtures all over the place? No one has ever invited us to tour their facility, why would Lotus?
To enter the facility we had to wear lab coats and hairnets and step into a shallow tray of disinfectant to make sure we didn’t track anything in on our shoes. The first thing you notice when you walk in is how clean the place is and second thing is the aroma! They were making Just Juicy Chicken Stew for cats that day and it smelled like a delicious chicken dinner you’d make at home – no kidding. There were no barrels of indiscernible meat mixtures, only a few tubs of what was clearly shredded chicken breast with carrot that was being manually weighed out pinch by pinch and hand packed into cans by a team of people.
Daron the President of Lotus Pet Foods and all-around nice guy was our tour guide and we were allowed to see every inch of the facility and were encouraged to take all the pictures we wanted, he was transparent about everything which was really cool. We saw where they store the raw meat that is all approved and stamped by the USDA for human consumption. We saw where they cook the meat and how they keep the broth from the cooking process to make the gravy and even where they make said gravy. We saw the lab where they measure the vitamins and were shown their many quality control processes. We followed the cans all the way to the end of the line where they got labeled, boxed and wrapped.
All in all it became obvious why Lotus wants to do tours of their micro-cannery – because they are immensely proud of their product and their process, they know it’s impressive and they want you to see it. The tour was unexpected, educational and actually pretty fun. I think it’s awesome that Daron takes time out of his busy day to do tours of the cannery and educate retailers like us. Tim and I had a great time and are thankful to the Lotus team for having us!