This story appears in full in the March/April 2016 issue of Middle Market Growth.
When Dave Ratner’s son talked about adding pet treats to his quirky “I’d Rather Be With My Dog” online store of t-shirts, phone cases and other cool stuff, Ratner—himself the owner of a pet food company—had doubts. His son suggested not just any dog treats, but treats conforming to the increasingly popular paleo diet, which restricts followers to foods such as lean meats, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
But when Ratner brought it up with an executive from dog treat manufacturer Phelps Industries LLC at a pet supply trade show, the executive loved the idea.
“You can’t have grains, can’t have dairy, can’t have this, can’t have that—it took us a good while to get the formulas right,” says Ratner, who provides financial support to his son’s business. “It was sort of a pain in the neck to get the paleo done, but Phelps did it.” […]