Founders Omer Bullen and his son-in-law Fred Bostick, Jr., began making animal feed for farm animals in 1949. The company slowly expanded and in 1960, dog and cat food, along with pet treats, were added to the product lineup.
The company began to produce economy dog foods and expanded into more complete pet food products. Over the next several years the Sunshine, Field Trial, and Cat Café brands were marketed and sold in the Southeastern and Southwestern states. Alan Bostick took over the reins as President and CEO in 1984. A new CEO was named in February 2019 after problems with certain dog food products began to arise. Today, Dana Brooks is the company CEO. The company has expanded internationally, offering their products in more than 30 countries.
In early 2018, veterinarians in the US began to notice a disturbing trend among dogs; an overdose of vitamin D. This led to the deaths and renal failure of multiple animals. Over time, the linking factor began to become clear; all dogs ate grain-free dog foods produced by Sunshine Mills. Another brand of dog food, Elm Pet Foods, also used Sunshine Mills facilities. Hill’s Pet Foods are also involved in this recall.
While the company originally denied that its products were responsible, they voluntarily issued a recall in December 2018 for certain dry pet food labels within certain dates. However, the company later expanded the recall to include numerous other labels, including treats and canned foods. The FDA requested analytical test results for the company vitamin premix in a February 2019 inspection, and Sunshine Mills was unable to produce any records. Tests have since found Vitamin D levels at more than 30 times the target range for dogs
Company headquarters remain in Red Bay, Alabama.