Paul Allen, co-founder of Woof Gang Bakery, which was recognized by GrowFL as a Florida Company to Watch for 2016, thought big box pet supply stores left something to be desired, so he opened his own. Woof Gang Bakery is a pet food and grooming business that will reach 100 stores by the company's 10th anniversary in 2017. "One thing that anyone should smile about is when a company that started with no investors or loans grows from nothing to 100 stores in a 10 year period," Allen said. "When I look back, I can't believe we did it with no money. Our stores will gross more than $50 million in the next 12 months. As long as we continue to understand who we are and work as hard as we have, then we have a great future."
Allen identified a market need for pet stores with a personal touch unlike the big box retailers. "In the beginning, we trademarked the name 'Your Neighborhood Pet Store' and that's what we try to be: a Cheers-style concept where we know all our customers," he said. "We strive to know all their names and their dogs' names. We give them that Cheers effect of the neighborhood bar."
Recognition as a GrowFL Company To Watch for 2016 means a lot to Allen and his team. "Whenever we're recognized, it means a lot because we're just a small company," he said. "We did it with no financial backers or loans. It’s a very proud moment because we worked really hard to get to where we are today."
Hard work is the one and only piece of advice Allen has for aspiring entrepreneurs. "Hard work is it," he said. "It doesn't matter how much money you have behind you or who is advising you. You are only going to win on hard work and doing the job yourself. I did every single job myself for years. Nothing is going to beat hard work. You put your life on hold for the success of the business you're going to run and you’ve got to be prepared for that."