Global Pet Foods

provide something that’s locally sourced. “We have a franchise advisory board, as well, that the franchisees elect every year. It meets quarter- ly and they are responsible for representing the franchisees that have elected them, regionally.We meet to discuss issues that are going on at the time, as well as planning for future roll-outs of products and advertising and promotions that we’re going to be working on, nationally. So these owner/oper- ators are very involved. Most of our franchisees are multiple store owners. I would say that 75 per- cent of all of our franchisees own more than one store. Some own as many as six or seven, with no restriction on how many they can buy. And they wouldn’t be doing that unless they enjoyed the reliability of the profitability of these stores and enjoy the business.” Walker notes that Global Pet Foods is also a socially responsible company, devoted to the care of abandoned or ownerless pets. “As an example, right now, we’re in the middle of our ‘Show us Your Heart’ program,” he explains. “It’s a program for two weeks in February, usually right around Valentine’s Day.We ask peo- ple to buy, not just flowers and chocolates and gifts for their spouses or girlfriends and boyfriends, but also not to forget about unwanted pets - pets that are in shelters up for adoption. We collect anywhere between a dollar and five dollars from customers and we match that. And the franchisees can pick and choose what charitable pet area or group they would like to have that money donated to. To date, we’ve raised over $1.5 mil- lion. So, it’s been a very effective, socially responsible program. In the corporate world, they raise a lot of money for different types of charities.We focus on the part of the business that we work with - the pet adoption side of it.” PREFERRED VENDORS n Merrick Pet Care, Inc. Merrick Pet Care produces dog and cat food and treats, including bites, dental chews, natural bones, biscuits, jerky, and sausages for dogs, and bistro and ingredient diet for cats. It offers its products through pet specialty stores and online retailers in the United States. The company was founded in 1968 and is based in Amarillo, Texas. n Natural Balance Pet Foods Based in Burbank, California, Natural Balance Pet Foods was founded in 1989 to create pet food based on sound scientific principles and nutritional truths. The company offers a wide selection of premium dog and cat foods that are used and respected worldwide by top trainers, pet rescues, and caring pet owners who want the very best for their pets. n Royal Canin Founded in France in 1968, Royal Canin is a global pet food company, with additional manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada. The company produces pet health nutrition products and food products for dogs, kittens, puppies, and cats. GLOBAL PET FOODS