Concern for family pet tapped into unmet need
In 2010, Pet Wants founder Michele Hobbs and her wife, Amanda, had a problem. Jackson, the family’s beloved dog, had allergies and a host of other health problems that included painful skin rashes. The pet food the vet recommended only made her dog’s problems worse.
“We spent a lot of money at the veterinarian, and he just never got better,” Michele says. Like many other pet lovers, she turned to the Internet and began researching his symptoms. Something quickly jumped out. “I was reading about celiac disease, and the skin irritation is where it starts.”
That was the turning point. Wondering if Jackson suffered from something similar, Amanda and Michele attacked the problem head on. They researched foods, studied labels and eventually came to the realization that no commercially available food would address their concerns. So, they decided to open a pet food franchise store. They found a manufacturer in upstate Ohio who would make limited runs of formulas and started making their own food.
“We brought in 1,400 pounds of food before we opened that June,” Michele recalls. “We ran out of food in June, and again in July, and by October, the manufacturer we had found dropped by the store.”
It seemed that the tiny Pet Wants company was doing what no other pet food company had done — exploding in growth immediately, rather than the slow, plodding growth that niche brands typically experience. The manufacturer was blown away.
Ever-increasing demand drove business to new heights
Michele had discovered there is a huge demand for fresh, healthy pet food.
“The growth rate, the acceptance of the service, the appeal of the people running the stores who are out in the community, it’s been so well received,” she says. So well received, in fact, that Pet Wants currently has more than 70 franchises in 26 states.
That’s in no small part due to Michele’s decision to partner with Gary Green and Strategic Franchising. As a franchise, Pet Wants makes sense. We provide an exclusive product via a highly visible brand to an eager audience — a winning formula. Part of that winning formula is the boutique pet food model, Gary says.
“Pet Wants is a good opportunity because it looks like something you would see at your local farmers’ market,” Gary says. “It looks cool; it is cool. It’s authentic. It is not like some of those brands we see a lot of in specialty retail, the kind of franchise opportunities that seem to be only focused on a small, core market with a few locations. Pet Wants is designed to be a national brand with a huge footprint.”
By limiting the number of products offered at Pet Wants, we minimize the cost and the complexity of the consumer’s experience. They come in for what they’re looking for, browse our curated supplemental products such as treats and accessories, and leave with a great experience and a phenomenal product.