Organic Value Recovery Solutions LLC
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BACKGROUND Insect Science Resource LLC In 1998, while employed as a research scientist for the University of Georgia, Craig Sheppard, Ph.D., started Insect Science Resource, which began as a sole proprietorship. Under this umbrella company, Dr. Sheppard generated revenues primarily from three sources: 1. Production of mealworms that were sold as wild bird food, pet food and fishing bait 2. Production of custom bioassay kits used to monitor insecticide resistance for Orkin, Merial (Division of Merck), and other companies 3. Conducted laboratory bioassays to determine insecticide resistance for Ciba-Geigy About 2000, Dr. Sheppard became aware that larvae of the black soldier fly possessed unique nutritional qualities that would make them valuable in the diet of captive reptiles and amphibians. This was an insect that he had worked with for over 30 years as a tool to recover value from low value organics such as manure and food waste. Over the next five years, Dr. Sheppard refined rearing methods and developed packaging and storage procedures to enable this unique feeder insect to be marketed to the pet food trade. In 2005, Dr. Sheppard applied for a trademark for the name “Phoenix Worm” in the United States as well as internationally via the Madrid Protocol. A custom cup with original distinctive logo, extensive national trade and consumer advertising as well as favorable word of mouth from customers quickly established the brand with exotic pet owners and breeders nationwide. At the annual Petco managers’ meeting in 2005, Phoenix Worm was chosen #3 best new product out of 1000 products presented that year. In 2006, Phoenix Worm was the first feeder insect to receive a registered trademark. In May 2006, the company was organized as Insect Science Resource LLC in the state of Georgia and is the sole producer of the Phoenix Worm. Sales have doubled and tripled annually and the product is currently distributed nationally online (www.phoenixworm.com), in pet stores, and internationally via a Canadian distributor. No sustained competition for the product has developed in spite of several known attempts by established insect producers.