You may know that Wondercide is a family-owned small business in the heart of Texas. We handcraft every product with love from our manufacturing facility here in Austin. What you probably don't know is that we have a Mixologist on staff with a chemistry background. And, he helps us ensure that our products are created just as we intend: to be safe and effective for dogs, cats, and their people!
We sat down with our Mixologist, Chris, to learn a little more about him and what he does here at Wondercide. Let's see what he had to say!
Q: What does the mixologist do at Wondercide? A: As a mixologist, I prepare what you might call "industrial-sized" batches of all of the products we manufacture. The majority of what I do in a week is creating the Flea & Tick formulations and Skin Tonic Spray.
When I prepare Wondercide products, I'm also taking care to ensure that each batch is as identical to the last as it can possibly be. In a lot of ways, it's like brewing beeror even cooking. I am responsible for keeping detailed records of everything that gets sent out for production, and I catalog each sampleand run pH tests on every batch.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your background?
A: A little bit about me – I graduated from Texas State University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. I've worked in a few labs before. But, for quite a while prior to coming here, I was a bartender and bar manager. I find what I do here to be very similar in many ways to what I was doing as a bartenderand even as an employee for a local brewery.
At my last bar job, I was responsible for formulating many cocktail recipes. Some of them were featured on national menus for the Alamo Drafthouse. I have participated in and conducted a few national cocktail competitions. What I like about working at Wondercide is that it's a little bit of what I've been doing for a while now as a bartender and homebrewer. And, it also rekindles a great deal of my college education as a chemist.
What else...? I play guitar in a punk band, I grew up near El Paso, and I've lived in Austin for 15 years. I have 2 dogs, and I have an arguably unhealthy obsession with Star Wars. I'm a huge movie and music fanatic. I've been working really hard on committing to being vegan, but it's been an ongoing project
Q: Why is it so important to have a specialist creating these products?
A: Working knowledge of standard weights and measures is imperative, and to some extent, fluid, gas, and solid dynamics. A working basic knowledge of how certain materials interact with each other is also essential. It's important to be able to troubleshoot and multi-task, while still paying very close attention to detail.
Q: Each batch of Wondercide is "handcrafted with love." Can you explain what goes into that process?
A: As a lover of animals, the last thing I want to do is compromise the health and safety of anyone's pet. Each of our formulations is designed to be as effective as possible, while never posing a threat to their well-being. Much more research and care has gone into Wondercide productswhen compared to those of our competitors.
Q: Why is the pH of Wondercide products important, and how do you make sure it's appropriate for pets' sensitive skin?
A:Pets' skin is different from ours. So, it's imperative to make sure that the products we formulate are within the safe range for their skin. There's a huge range of pH variation in skin between animal species, and often even breeds. We take special care in hitting a target pH that is safe for dogs and cats alike. We evaluate pH of products as they are sent out to production, and over an extended period of time as well.
Q: Just for fun, can you tell us your favorite cocktail recipe? A: More often than not, I'm likely to just drink something straight. But if I'm having a cocktail, chances are it's either a sazerac or a negroni. Here's how I make a negroni:
1 oz London dry gin
1 oz sweet vermouth (I usually like to use Carpano
Antica because it's a little more rich)
1 oz Campari