The city of Petaluma, California, has a deep-rooted history in the poultry business dating back to the 1920’s when it was once known as the “egg capital of the world”. Allen Shainsky was born into a family of egg farmers and developed his passion and respect for poultry at an early age. He founded Petaluma Poultry in 1969 and dedicated his life to growing chickens with the utmost care while being mindful of the land.
In the 1980’s San Francisco Bay Area chefs challenged him to produce a chicken that was reminiscent of their culinary training in Europe. Shainsky spent months in France researching poultry husbandry and returned to implement back to basics growing techniques that included an all vegetarian diet with no animal by-products and no antibiotics, artificial hormones or steroids*; and a change in the chickens’ environment that allowed them more room to roam naturally.
Because of this, the ROCKY® brand became one of the first free range chickens that satisfied chefs as well as a growing consumer base that wanted healthy, tasty birds while leaving a small environmental footprint. Petaluma Poultry started organic protocols 10 years before the USDA allowed meat and poultry to be labeled organic. Petaluma Poultry fought to establish a defined organic certification program to help clear up the confusion in the marketplace. Thus, in 1999 the ROSIE® brand became the first third party certified organic chicken on the market to earn the USDA Organic seal. Regretfully, Allen Shainsky passed away in 2000, but Petaluma Poultry’s pioneering spirit lives on. Petaluma Poultry became one of the first producers to provide tray-less packaging and one of the only companies in the region with air chill processing. It will continue to be a pioneer and add to Sonoma County’s rich poultry history. (*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones or steroids in poultry.)