June 29, 2022

Leading Independents Partner with Private Equity 

Rainier Partners Invests in Pet Food Express

Rainier Partners, a Seattle-based, lower-middle-market private equity firm, has announced its investment in Pet Food Express, a fast-growing, omnichannel pet retailer that sells healthy pet foods, goods, and services from more than 60 retail locations throughout California. Rainier’s investment will support PFE in expanding its reach to help pets and their owners live happier, healthier lives together.

Founded in 1980 by Michael Levy, PFE has helped lead the evolution of the pet industry through its unwavering dedication to offering the highest quality pet products and services, advising pet owners through its knowledgeable store team members, and supporting local pet shelters and charities.

“For over 30 years, my business partner Mark Witriol and I grew Pet Food Express without outside investment, so when it came time to choose a partner, we were very selective,” said PFE’s Founder and CEO Michael Levy. “We wanted a partner that truly understood our mission and our work in the pet community. We were extremely fortunate to find a cultural match with the team at Rainier; we could not be more excited for what the company will accomplish with Rainier’s support.”

Rainier’s focus on value creation and business building will assist the team at PFE as they continue to enhance the high standard of retailing for which they have become known. At a time when pet ownership is at an all-time high, Rainier’s investment will help accelerate the company’s e-commerce capabilities and expand PFE’s brick-and-mortar presence. “Now more than ever, pet owners are looking for ways to do what is best for their pets, and PFE has provided this level of service for more than 30 years with the right products and a highly trained staff,” said Rainier Co-Founder and Managing Partner Jon Altman.

Added Rainier Co-Founder and Managing Partner Alex Rolfe, “Not only does PFE align with Rainier’s investment focus in the consumer services sector, but the company’s commitment to doing what’s best for pets and their potential for growth elevate this partnership into something truly exciting for everyone involved.”

Garnett Station Partners Invests in Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming 

Garnett Station Partners, LLC, a New York-based principal investment firm, has announced its growth investment into Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming.

Founded in 2007, by Paul and Cara Allen, Woof Gang is a leading pet services and specialty retail franchisor with more than 200 locations open or under development across 18 states. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Paul and Cara have built an outstanding brand and operating model that has led to best-in-class unit economics. We are thrilled that they chose to partner with our firm,” said Alex Sloane, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Garnett Station.

Paul Allen of Woof Gang added, “With a $50,000 loan, Cara and I opened our first store in 2007. Over the next 15 years, we grew Woof Gang with our team members, franchise owners and no outside capital. Our vision to build an unparalleled neighborhood pet store brand and provide the very best quality and service to customers and their pets, has been our passion and driving mission. Today, with more than 200 stores open or under development and $125-plus million of run rate system sales, Woof Gang is ready for new and exciting leadership. After a long search, we could not have found a better partner to take Woof Gang to the next level than the team at Garnett Station.”

“We believe a remarkable opportunity exists to grow the brand and we are extremely excited to provide both growth capital and operational resources necessary to turbo charge the Company’s growth,” added Alex Macedo, Partner at Garnett Station.

Subscribe to Pet Insight