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Meet Chris Mahlberg of EntoBento in Hillcrest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Mahlberg.

Chris, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
EntoBento started as a group of strangers at a Startup Weekend at the library downtown. What is a Startup Weekend? It is a competition where participants pitch business ideas and then form teams to see who can develop and validate their concept over 48 hours.

While most teams created new iPhone apps or tech products, EntoBento rallied around the idea of insects as food. They learned from a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization paper from 2013, that the way the world consumes protein is not economically or environmentally feasible to keep up with population growth.

Simply put, we will run out of land and water to feed enough livestock to meet the protein needs of the global in 2050. The U.N. paper recommends insects as a necessary protein source because they are packed with vital nutrition and require very little resources. EntoBento ran with this idea and started with a baby step. They started by making a dog treat using cricket protein. The early customers they talked to were little wary eating insects themselves, but their dogs gobbled up the simple organic treats.

As they developed their recipe with veterinary nutritionists, they learned that crickets act as a superfood for dogs. They are packed with Protein, Omega 3’s, B12 Vitamins, Iron, and even contain glucosamine that helps with dog’s suffering from hip and joint issues.

Because it is a protein that is not found in common dog food, it is hypoallergenic for dogs that have food allergies.

EntoBento has 3 flavors: Organic Sweet Potato-Cinnamon, Pumpkin-Wild Hand Picked Blueberry, and Banana-Unsweetened Coconut. Each cookie is slowly baked at a local bakery and sold mostly in local boutique stores (Including the South Bark Dog Wash).

EntoBento’s mission is to have our communities, our families, and our dogs embrace the health benefits of eco-friendly cricket protein. Does your dog like crickets?

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest struggle has been getting over the ‘ick’ factor. As soon as dogs try it they love our treats so it is really just getting the people to understand the benefits.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with EntoBento – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are a company dedicated to making the most nutritious and sustainable dog treats on the market.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Right now we are sold in about 150 stores and mainly in California. We are in stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Hawaii, Texas, Georgia, and Utah. Our goal is to continue to grow and expand with boutique retailers. We fully believe in the service and knowledge of independent pet retailers, they love our treats and are able to explain our benefits to the customer.


  • We have three flavors – Banana-Coconut, Sweet Potato-Cinnamon, Pumpkin-Blueberry – $9.99 per bag

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