Tell us about Goodness Gracious and why you started it. Goodness Gracious is as much a company as it is a spirit. Its mission is to provide human grade, nutritionally superior, whole food diets for pets in a way that improves our connection to the planet and each other. To do that, it uses mindfully sourced ingredients; green-energy on a path to net zero; less plastic, zero Styrofoam and more compostable materials; a vibrant culture of inclusion that celebrates diversity; and a charitable give-back to community animal causes amounting to half its profits. 

Goodness Gracious was a right turn for me. In 2007, I was running a small software company. I adopted my first dog, Grace, and then my second, Lula. Like most new Moms I became committed to the health of my girls. I discovered the ugly truth of what passes for pet food and the unconscionable corporate choices to put profit over safety. A powerful example of this truth occurred that year when melamine was found in pet foods – sickening and killing thousands. This was followed by problems with jerky treats that put dogs into kidney failure; and later by workers at a large pet food plant becoming sick from toxic exposure to mold and fumigants. Overwhelmed with distrust of commercial pet food, I started preparing my dogs’ food at home. Along the way, I learned that 3 – 5 million homeless dogs were euthanized annually in the U.S. because people fail them. When I turned 40 in 2009, I started asking myself, “who are you helping?” I was building shareholder value and providing leadership at the software company, but those answers were not enough. I envisioned a planet with thriving companion animals, homes for the homeless ones, and respect for all beings, so I built a company committed to that purpose. Goodness Gracious became my passion and purpose, a warm blanket for my spirit and thousands of animals, and the right turn that was 100% right.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? I’ve had a few amazing mentors who have taught me about the power of connection, courage, and commitment. I cannot single out any one piece of advice as the all-time best. Instead, I’ll say that recognizing that one’s teachers are everywhere, and that everything is a lesson, is incredibly powerful. For example, loss teaches us to live presently. Fear shows us our courage and inner strength. From the uncontrollable we learn to be disciplined. Setbacks and disappointment teach us endurance and fulfillment. 

What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? I love many spots in Marblehead. My favorites are those I can enjoy with my family. My kids are canine. I have outlived three of them. Odds are, I will outlive three more. Grief teaches us about time. There is no greater gift than time with those you love.  So, we seek out quiet, peaceful places. For us, these are the trails in Marblehead’s conservation lands.  It’s here that the world melts away. We stop to sniff the flowers, explore the critter holes, listen to birds and streams, and be filled with the presence of each other.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? I love to coach. I enjoy helping people make good dietary choices for their pets that have a positive impact on their pets’ healthspan and lifespan. Studies show that dogs are living shorter lives. Nearly 60% of them are fat and chronic disease is on the rise. Dogs are five times more likely than humans to get cancer according to leading integrative veterinary oncologists. Problems in the pet food industry are largely to blame. Connecting with people on these truths and how to make better choices is powerful for them and enriching for me.  

What’s next for Goodness Gracious? I’m thrilled to be one of eight women hosting an event at the Jacobi Community Center on June 10 that shines a light on these issues and shares practical advice for building a better pet food bowl. We’re also covering canine first aid and CPR, and good training practices for mental enrichment. Net proceeds from the event benefit local animal rescue groups. For me, this event brings many of my passions together for one amazing purpose: more time with the companion animals at the center of our hearts. You can read more and register for this event at

For More Information:
Goodness Gracious
Amy Renz


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