Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness Say Their Pets' 'Unconditional Love' Inspired New Brand

·4 min read
Co-Founders Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness Launch Brand Yummers
Co-Founders Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness Launch Brand Yummers

YUMMERS Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness

Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness are taking their relationship to the next level  — a pet product partnership.

On Thursday, the Queer Eye stars announced the launch of their pet brand Yummers, which kicked off with a line of pet food "mix-ins" for both cats and dogs.

Porowski, 38, and Van Ness, 35, partnered up with Rebecca Frechette Rudisch, a former Petco executive, to create Yummers. The three share a passion for pets — and giving them the best.

"I think it's a mutual love of pets, is what really kind of brought us together," Van Ness told PEOPLE during an interview with Porowski about their new venture. "We're both pet parents, and Rebecca is really the mastermind. She saw that there was a gorgeous opportunity for us."

Van Ness said that before Yummers' creation, he and Porowski added mix-ins to their pets' food "without even knowing that that was the term for it."

"We were like how can we take this, in some cases for people who need to fill out and round out their pets' diets, and then in other cases, just wanted to give their pets something extra — take it to the next level," Van Ness said.

Yummers has 14 varieties of "mix-ins" for both dogs and cats, which add additional flavor and nutrients to pet meals, a release from the brand explains.

Co-Founders Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness Launch Brand Yummers
Co-Founders Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness Launch Brand Yummers

YUMMERS Antoni Porowski, Rebecca Frechette Rudisch and

The furry friends who inspired Yummers launch included Porowski's dog, a pitbull-mix named Neon that the cookbook author adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Van Ness' five cats and two dogs.

"I just think some of my most fulfilling relationships have come from my pets, that unconditional love, and they take such good care of us," Van Ness said. "I do think that's part of what makes Yummers so special is it really has been born from this desire for us to want to take better care of our animals and to want to show up for them in the ways that they show up for us."

The Getting Curious podcast host added that one of his favorite parts about being a pet parent is all the "cuddling" and enjoying his cats' different personalities.

Porowski agreed, saying he loves dogs because they are "just unapologetic with their feelings and their neediness," something he said he can relate to as someone who wears his "heart on the sleeve."

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"When I look back at the pandemic, to bring that up, the best moments that I had were driving out to the country, going out into the woods with my partner and my dog," Porowski recalled to PEOPLE. "Or even just going on a walk with my dog after being in front of a computer screen all day long and just being in the outdoors and seeing how much joy it brought her and how much it actually helped me, and how symbiotic this relationship is that you have with a pet."

He continued, "I feel like I personally owe it to them, and we owe it to them as pet parents to give them the very best life possible. The same love that we show ourselves and our loved ones who are human beings, we should do that for our pets."

Co-Founders Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness Launch Brand Yummers
Co-Founders Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness Launch Brand Yummers

YUMMERS Antoni Porowski and Neon, Jonathan Van Ness and Larry

Porowski and Van Ness' devotion to their pets can be seen right on Yummers' packaging. Neon appears on the front of all the dog products and one of Van Ness' cats, Larry, on the cat products.

Van Ness joked that he chose Larry for the spot, instead of his other pets, because of the cat's "meteorology degree" as he "moonlights as a meteorologist."

"He's just like, 'I have a four-year degree. I think it's my turn. Everyone else is still in college. They're younger,' " Van Ness said of his cat. "So I was just like, 'Larry, you got to do you.' He's also the oldest."

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Porowski added that Larry also has more experience "in the spotlight."

On Wednesday, the two teased the launch of Yummers by sharing posts on their social media accounts that suggested the pair had entered a romantic relationship before revealing their partnership is strictly business on Thursday. Van Ness married Mark Peacock in 2020, and Porowski and his partner, Kevin Harrington, were first linked in 2019.