Category: Franchise Owner Stories

Best Franchise for Veterans: Why Pet Supplies Plus is One of the Top Options

Joe Petergal and his daughter Brenda

One of the key characteristics of a great franchise opportunity is that it is inclusive and accessible for everyone who meets the qualifications. As one of the best pet store franchises and top overall franchise opportunities, Pet Supplies Plus is a fantastic business ownership opportunity for Veterans as well!

Learn about Veteran Joe Petergal and his daughter Brenda’s Pet Supplies Plus location in San Antonio below!

Veteran Success Stories with the Best Pet Franchise

Before becoming a Franchise Owner with Pet Supplies Plus, Joe Petergal spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force as a security police dog handler, a jet engine mechanic and an aircraft maintenance superintendent. After retiring from the Air Force, Joe earned an Alternative Teaching Certificate as a special education teacher.

It wasn’t until recently that Joe decided to embark on his third career move and invest in one of the best franchises to own with Pet Supplies Plus.

“As a Veteran, I learned that sticking to the instructions and hard work always pays off, and Pet Central (Pet Supplies Plus’s Corporate Office) provides detailed instructions on opening and running a store,” says Joe on how his past experiences have prepared him for success with Pet Supplies Plus, as well as how the support offered by corporate has helped him in his journey.

Joe also attributes his experience as a special education teacher as a reason why his Pet Supplies Plus franchise is thriving. He gained experience in working with people, as well as learning to interact with peers, employees and customers.

Why a Pet Supplies Plus Franchise Opportunity Attracts Veterans

When Joe began researching opportunities and spoke with Pet Supplies Plus Franchise Owners, he learned very quickly about the high rate of success for Franchise Owners, and that they loved the brand.

“In my opinion, the best part about owning a Pet Supplies Plus is the unparalleled support we receive,” says Joe. “They help with new store site selection and build-out, IT, marketing, merchandising, operations and provide extensive training opportunities.”

As a family-friendly pet franchise opportunity, Joe is also able to work with his daughter in building a successful business.

“I’ve always known that she was intelligent, a fast learner and hardworking,” says Joe of his daughter Brenda. “But I did not know how exceptionally well she could run a retail establishment. The store is doing so well under her leadership that I am considering an early start to my third retirement.”

Advice for Those Considering Investing in the Best Pet Store Franchise

If you’re thinking about investing in a Pet Supplies Plus franchise opportunity, Joe has some sage advice for you.

“Don’t hesitate,” Joe advises.

Brenda believes that if you want to set yourself up for success with Pet Supplies Plus, you should leverage relationships with other Franchise Owners in your area.

“If they have another store close to them, they need to develop a relationship with the owner and/or the management team,” says Brenda. “Do not underestimate the assistance you will need when you are in the process of opening and running a new store. Additionally, when your store matures, it’s good to have a partnership with other stores for furthering the brand throughout the community.”

Whether you’re a veteran looking to start your own business with a proven brand and franchise model or looking to expand your portfolio with a smart, savvy investment, Pet Supplies Plus is one of the best opportunities around.

To get in touch, simply fill out the form below to speak with our Franchise Development Team.

Why a Top Pet Franchise Signs a Multi-Unit Conversion Deal with an Independent Pet Store.

Franchise Owner kneeling with his golden retriever dog

Here at Pet Supplies Plus, our tails are wagging as pet store owner Karl Keller from PetsWay joined our pet store franchise family. He signed a franchise agreement to convert his five stores to our brand.

“I was very impressed with the progress they’ve made since 2007. The purchasing power is so important for Franchise Owners. Pet Supplies Plus is competitive on retail pricing, and the product mix and margins are very attractive,” says Karl Keller.

Our Independent Pet Conversion Program gives Franchise Owners like Karl the opportunity to offer more products, greater variety, marketing insights and analytics and streamlined store operations. Plus, Franchise Owners benefit from more buying power for better prices on pet supplies that reward neighbors and compete with bigger brands.

A second-generation pet store owner.

His dad, Karl Keller, Sr., started the pet business after falling in love with guppies. With an entrepreneurial mindset, he soon realized that he could sell the guppy babies. At age 17, his parents told him to get the business out of their house, so he leased his first storefront when he was still in high school. Over time, his business grew as more customers asked if he had food for hamsters, parrots and other pets.

Meanwhile, Karl Jr. chose another career working for Boeing in St. Louis. But his dad’s business was so successful, he asked his son to help the company and move back to Springfield. Driven by his love for pets and family, Karl moved his family and joined Pets Way in 2000 which was operating five stores.

Karl chose a best-in-show brand carefully.

Karl did his homework and has been following Pet Supplies Plus for 15 years. He visited dozens of our stores across the U.S., and after visiting with our corporate team, he was even more impressed with what we’re doing and how fast we’re growing.

Last year, we reached out to Karl to let him know about the Independent Pet Conversion Program. Karl says he was “excited for the outreach and was ready to learn more about the latest developments with one of the top pet franchise brands.”

“The infrastructure is excellent and allows us to compete and grow in the pet business against other big brand names. We have the community base and relationships in our local market. It’s a win-win. We can be market players and operate multiple stores,” adds Karl.

Unleashing big goals with the big dogs.

With five successful stores, Karl wants to be a market player, compete with the big box pet store franchise brands and also retain that local community store appeal. His hopes are to get his first store converted to Pet Supplies Plus by the holiday season this year. We’re totally on board with that goal and are here with marketing, merchandising, tech and support to help Karl’s stores lead the pack.

“It’s been very rewarding and challenging at the same time. It’s never easy to go out on your own as an entrepreneur. But, the quality of people at Pet Supplies Plus is unmatched. I feel like I’ve worked with these people forever. You want to work with people you feel good about,” adds Karl.

Why franchise with us? People, pets and community, for starters.

As Karl says, “Pet Supplies Plus is a very respected pet franchise brand in our industry.” As the largest chain of independent pet store owners and operators in the country, we offer brand recognition, the buying power of 500+ stores and a proven track record of innovation, recession-resilient growth, neighborly service and top-notch support.

A Pet Supplies Plus Father-Daughter Franchising Duo!

a father and daughter franchise pair are standing in the aisle of the store

Pet Supplies Plus is a family business, so we get really excited when we hear about actual families owning and running our stores together. For years, Mike Zavasky worked as a successful insurance company executive, until he decided his next move would be to own his own business with his daughter, Rachel.

Currently, Mike and Rachel own two Pet Supplies Plus stores in Pennsylvania and recently opened a third in Florida!

Mike and Rachel looked into many businesses before deciding on Pet Supplies Plus—everything from yogurt shops to bagels to bird supplies. But once Mike visited the corporate office and spent some time with the Pet Supplies Plus team, he knew it was the perfect choice. “They are just so great. Speaking from my own corporate experience, it’s clear that the team at Pet Supplies Plus has a good thing going,” Mike said. He also cited his District Team Leader, who is a special regional mentor every Franchise Owner gets as a key asset to the onboarding process.

Aside from his fantastic experience at the corporate office, Mike had a lot of love for the brand model and the ability to run the business behind the scenes. “It’s a proven concept and a business that will last. Plus, you don’t have to be an owner/operator, and there is a lot of momentum in this very large market segment,” Mike said.

Rachel is the Director of Operations for their stores and spends a lot of her time in them, helping neighbors and staff, as well as assisting Mike with payroll, invoicing, and planning events. But her favorite part of her position is being in the store itself. “I enjoy engaging with the neighbors and team members. It’s really great when we get to help neighbors with their pets’ allergies or issues. They are so happy and appreciative of the help,” Rachel said.

Organizing events for the community has been a highlight for both Mike, Rachel, and their store leadership teams and it has benefited their business. Partnering with local shelters and service organizations and participating in events like Paws in the Park and other fund raisers has been both rewarding and fun. They even helped to put on a rock concert with the Humane Society featuring Gin Blossoms!

Both Rachel and Mike acknowledge that the key to success is engaging with neighbors, hiring the right people, and following the suggestions from corporate. “They have proven their expertise and are always available to help improve business. We welcome all their suggestions and have had success in implementing them,” Mike said.

Needless to say, this father-daughter team has been a welcome addition to the Pet Supplies Plus family. If you are interested in learning more about joining the Pet Supplies Plus family, get in touch with Pet Supplies Plus franchising.

A Veteran’s Franchising Venture with Pet Supplies Plus

Two franchise owners stand in front of their store entrance, with a "Grand Opening" sign behind them

Brian Rolf is a busy guy. He is the father of three children and owns two dogs, two fish, and two Pet Supplies Plus stores. And he’s loving every minute of it!

Brian opened his first store in Florida during the summer of 2016, and his second store had its Grand Opening in April 2018. Before becoming a Franchise Owner with Pet Supplies Plus, Brian was a pilot in the United States Marine Corps. While serving his country as a Marine, Brian earned his MBA and knew that when he retired from service, he would go into business for himself.

From his background, it’s clear that Brian is a very determined and focused person. When he retired from the Marines and was ready to become an entrepreneur, he did some serious investigating to figure out which franchise would be the best fit for him and his family.

After looking at fitness, medical supplies, and service-based franchises, it became clear that Pet Supplies Plus would be a good match. “I loved the model and felt it was the perfect niche between big box retailers and mom and pop stores,” Brian said. Since Brian is an owner/operator, he is happy to spend time with his customers. He is always willing and ready to hear what keeps them coming back to Pet Supplies Plus. “They all say that they like the local feel, the convenience of the store, and our friendly staff,” Brian said.

We asked Brian what motivated him to be an owner/operator. He said that he appreciated how being involved allowed him to get the business up and running sooner rather than later. Plus, Brian enjoys spending time in the store with his staff and customers. Brian was most impressed with the corporate team’s support and their dedication in ensuring that he felt confident with all the operational processes and systems in place. With his impressive military background, Brian recognizes the importance of team support. He also commented that he was happy to find that the transition from military to franchise ownership was smooth thanks to the solid process and structure of Pet Supplies Plus. “The support staff has been outstanding. They have a system in place for everything!” Brian said. He also mentioned the Grand Opening team and how much it made everything run smoothly.

Another part of being a Pet Supplies Plus Franchise Owner that Brian enjoys is the chance to get involved with local events in the community. “We set up event tents at festivals, as well as partner with shelters for adoption events,” Brian said. “It’s rewarding to build a cool business and provide a great community for residents and pets.” When we asked Brian what he felt has been the most satisfying part of being a Franchise Owner, he said, “I’ve built a good family business.” And we can’t think of anything better than that.

We want to thank Brian for his time, his service to our country, and choosing to be part of the Pet Supplies Plus family.

If you’re interested in learning more about a Pet Supplies Plus franchise, click here to fill out our form.

A Pet Supplies Plus Franchising Love Story: Matt and Addy

two men and two women are standing in a PSP, one is holding a cat

For the past 27 years, Addy and Matt Shattuck have been Franchise Owners with Pet Supplies Plus. They entered the business separately, each owning their own stores in Michigan. They both agree that their initial interest in the franchise was driven by their love of pets and the uniqueness of the concept.

What neither of them knew was that they would eventually partner together based on their mutual love of not just pets, but of one another.

That’s right! It’s a Pet Supplies Plus romance, and it’s all about following your passions, working hard, and staying committed.

Addy first heard of the concept from her best friend, who happens to be married to one of the Pet Supplies Plus founders. “I love pets! I also wanted to work for myself and thought it was a great concept,” Addy says.

Before Pet Supplies Plus, Matt was a supervisor at an electrical lighting company but had always dreamed of running his own business. He was introduced to the new franchise through family and was very intrigued, as he felt it was an original and exciting way to marry his passion with his drive.

Addy and Matt were first acquainted at a Michigan Owner’s Summit. They knew each other for years, as they both ran stores in the same state and attended many regional meetings with other Franchise Owners.

Before they became husband and wife, Addy and Matt both acknowledged that they spent a lot of time in the store. “In the beginning, I did everything by hand because we were a new franchise. It’s amazing how much our business has changed,” Matt says. Addy also mentioned the incredible support they receive from corporate. Both speak highly of the training, advertising, and programs in place to make Franchise Ownership more productive and less hands-on. “It’s gotten so good. Everything is digital now!” Addy says.

Through their mutual love for pets and their businesses, Matt and Addy discovered their love for each other and have been happily married for 13 years. Together, they run all four of their stores and are the proud owners of six cats and a Chihuahua named Bambi.

Their sense of commitment flows over into their business. Both are happy to report they promote from within. Matt’s store manager has been with him for 12 years, and Addy’s district manager has worked with her for 16 years. Both Matt and Addy say the company culture is special because everyone has the drive to work hard and help others. In fact, Matt and Addy have inspired even more Pet Supplies Plus romances as they watched employees fall in love and get married as well! “Seeing our employees fall in love while working at Pet Supplies Plus is so rewarding,” Addy said.

If you’re interested in learning more about a Pet Supplies Plus franchise, click here. to fill out our form.

Pet Supplies Plus Still Best in Show for First Franchise Owner

Franchise owner Jeff Bonanni standing with his employees

Jeff Bonanni has been a Franchise Owner for over 30 years and currently owns four different concepts. If you ask Jeff to name the favorite of all of his brands, he’ll answer, without taking a pause, that it’s Pet Supplies Plus!

In 1989, Jeff became the first Franchise Owner of a Pet Supplies Plus. With a portfolio that centers mostly on restaurant concepts, it may seem like an odd pairing, but, as Jeff says, it’s still his favorite business of the bunch.

Jeff says that his affinity for the brand stems from the ease by which the franchise runs, the money to be made, and the originality of the concept. After becoming the brand’s first Franchise Owner, Jeff went on to own a variety of different concepts, but his passion and love for Pet Supplies Plus remains unmatched.

Jeff heard about the business from a family friend and was interested in the concept immediately. “It’s basically a grocery store for pets. It was a very new concept at the time, and I was intrigued from the start,” Jeff said.

Jeff decided to take the leap and opened his first Pet Supplies Plus in Michigan. Currently, Jeff owns four stores, and thanks to the support he receives, his stores have become even more organized and easier to run. “I’m so impressed with how we’ve developed,” Jeff said. In fact, Jeff is so impressed with development that he’s opening another Pet Supplies Plus in 2019.

When asked why he thinks the franchise has stayed so relevant, Jeff calls out the customer experience and the fact that the people who work there can suggest new and improved options for pets. Jeff acknowledges that whether it’s nutrition or toys, it’s nice to get live, in-person feedback about something as precious to customers as their pets.

However, working in a business focused around pets is not all fun and games. “You have to be involved, but it’s very rewarding. Plus, the concept is still in demand 30 years later,” Jeff said.

The rewarding part of the business is, in part, attributed to its focus on pets and the joy, love, and companionship they bring to people’s lives. But Franchise Owners like Jeff work beyond the store to make a difference in the lives of pets and people within the community.

Jeff’s store holds cat adoptions to help place ownerless animals in safe homes, and he’s proud to share that 110 adoptions were made last year alone. Jeff and his store also donate food for families in need, as well as animal shelters and provide adoption aid for seniors in need. Jeff is most excited about their Pets for Vets Program, which helps place animals and donations with Veterans in need.

After almost 30 years as a Franchise Owner, what Jeff loves about Pet Supplies Plus is what the customers love as well. “It’s your neighborhood store with a great selection and a truly excellent customer service experience,” Jeff said.

If you’re interested in learning more about a Pet Supplies Plus franchise, click here to fill out our form.

Military Veteran Serves Community as Pet Franchise

A man is dressed in a military outfit, petting his dog. His wife and small child are close by

Franchising is a great fit for military veterans transitioning back to civilian life. Running a successful franchise requires teamwork, a proactive mindset and a heart for the community – all qualities that many veterans possess. In fact, twelve percent of franchise owners in the U.S. are veterans.

Pet Supplies Plus franchisee Brian Rolf was in the military for 20 years. He retired as a Marine Corps Officer in 2014 before opening his first store.

Road to Franchising

Brian and his father Eric had always wanted to go into business together, so they started researching franchise opportunities. As pet lovers, Pet Supplies Plus piqued their interest. Eric had years of experience in the grocery business, a model similar to pet retail. Through their research, they found that Pet Supplies Plus offered exactly what they wanted in a family-owned business.

“The stores are small enough to maintain a customer service focus but large enough to enjoy a well-developed supply chain and economy of scale so you can pass on the savings to the customer,” Brian said.

Just two years after his retirement from the military, Brian and his father opened their first location in Atlantic Beach, Florida. The duo enjoys operating and expanding their business, but they truly thrive on giving back to the community.

Military Mondays

As a veteran, Brian makes sure to give back to the military community. His store sits next to the Naval Station Mayport, so he often hires former military members and spouses. Additionally, he offers discounts for active and retired military personnel every Monday. 

Brian said that the franchising model is reminiscent of the military’s structure, and his experience with team-building contributes to his efficient hiring and staffing.

“I spend a lot of time training. Once you have employees you trust, you can build a system and decentralize and delegate tasks,” Brian said. “This frees up key leaders to focus on growth and further business health.”

This strategy allows Brian and Eric to focus on community outreach and find new ways to connect with their neighbors.

Community Involvement

The father-and-son team takes active steps to get involved in their community. Brian’s store hosts events to help local animal charities, like adoption fairs and fundraisers. At the Pet Supplies Plus conference, they even conducted a break-out session to teach other franchisees how to establish partnerships with community organizations and make a bigger difference.

The proactive military mindset helps Brian forge stronger connections with staff, neighbors and other franchise owners. Brian and Eric Rolf will keep expanding in the Jacksonville area, with plans to open three additional stores.

To learn more about this community-focused franchise system, get in touch with Pet Supplies Plus franchising here.