When the McKay family heard about Pet Wants dog food at a wedding, they thought they’d order a sample for their dog Sunday. They had no idea that those few kibbles would turn them into Pet Wants business owners, but that’s exactly what happened. Matthew and Gretchen McKay just launched Pet Wants Annapolis.
Pet Wants’ carefully developed proprietary pet food is slow-cooked with fresh, all-natural ingredients. The company has their distributor make the dog and cat food in small batches once per month so every kibble is guaranteed to be fresh and packed with nutrition. Pet Wants Annapolis is a franchise of the Pet Wants company. The mobile business serves customers in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Queen Anne’s County and the surrounding areas with convenient pet food home delivery.
“When we tried Pet Wants’ food with Sunday, our 4-year-old mini labradoodle, she literally picked around her old food to get to the fresh, nutritious stuff. After 30 days on the Pet Wants food, we noticed that her coat was shinier, her behavior was better, she had more energy… That’s when we knew there was a difference. We had no ambition to open a pet food business, but Sunday sold us. We wanted to bring this awesome product to our friends, neighbors and community, so we decided to open a local franchise,” Matthew said.
“We do a lot of clean-eating and I have a degree in dietetics, so when I hear people talking about nutrition, my ears perk up. When you get down to it, dogs are just like us. You are what you eat. Pet Wants pet food is a better choice for your best friend,” Gretchen added.
Although Matthew and Gretchen run the business, Sunday is really the star. As their spokesdog, she handles all customer communications, has her own Facebook page and happily “signs” letters with her photo and a paw print stamp.
“It’s been fun to have Sunday be the face the Pet Wants Annapolis. She’s a great dog and I think pet parents enjoy that aspect of what we do,” Matthew said.
While the McKays have a passion for the product, they also understand business. The family owned as many as 15 Oreck Vacuum locations as well as Fresh Coat Painters Annapolis. The McKays actually still own the Oreck shops in Annapolis and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and Matthew only left the painting business when he was hired as the national training manage for Fresh Coat’s corporate office. The McKay’s two daughters Elle and Addison are also helping with the company – they’ve been preparing samples, talking with potential customers at events around town and helping Sunday master social media.
Pet Wants originally launched in Cincinnati in 2010. Owned by Michelle Hobbs, the business was built to provide proprietary crafted, fresh, slow-cooked, all-natural pet food delivered to customers through a retail store and a convenient, home-delivery service. Hobbs turned the business into a franchise in 2015 with the help of Franchise Funding Group, an investment and franchise-development company designed to help entrepreneurs scale their companies nationally as franchise systems. Pet Wants Annapolis is the third local Pet Wants franchise in the nation.