in the raw pet food category, Vital
Essentials has increased its national
sales force to ensure its treats, entrées
and snacks are widely available to pet
owners throughout the U.S. The compa-
ny recently added CHARLES MEHL as
its Mid-Atlantic regional manager. The
addition is among a number of moves
made by the company late last year
to meet the demand for its frozen and
freeze-dried pet food.
Mehl's area of responsibility
includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and
upstate New York.
“The Mid-Atlantic region is among
our strongest areas in terms of the num-
ber of retailers carrying our products,”
said Kevin Malnor, vice president of
sales and marketing for the company,
which is based in Green Bay, Wis. “With
Charles’ background, he clearly under-
stands the value we bring in preparing
our pet foods as they are scientifically
backed by solid principles of the Alpha
Before joining Vital Essentials, Mehl
was in pharmaceutical sales. He is a
graduate from Drexel University.
"[Vital Essentials] place[s] such a
strong emphasis on the science behind
their products to extend the quality of
life for our pets," Mehl said. "You can’t
get better credibility when telling our
story to pet parents looking for healthier
as its national sales director.
Werner will be leading all sales for
veterinary professional and pet specialty
sectors for all Zymox Dermatology,
Zymox Equine Defense and Oratene
Oral Care products. Werner joins Pet
King Brands with more than 15 years
of pet industry experience, including
recent sales management roles with
Nature’s Variety and Merrick Pet Care.
His leadership, sales expertise and focus
on building strong business partnerships
will be an asset as he steers the company towards continued double-digit
growth, the company reported.
meeting, which was recently held in
Laguna Beach, Calif. Smith succeeds
Scott Rath, who chaired the associ-
ation’s board for two years. Rath will
continue on the board as immediate
“As a distributor, I value my membership in PIDA as an essential contributor
to my company’s success,” Smith said.
“I am honored to lead this organization
and will work with the board and staff
to continue PIDA’s legacy of service to
distributors and our trading partners.”
JEFF BOYD of Lee-Mar Aquarium &
Pet Supplies in Vista, Calif., was elected
to serve as vice-chairman, and CRAIG
BRUMMELL of Essex Topcrop Sales in
Essex, Ontario, Canada, was named
PETER REID of Marshall Pet in
Wolcott, N. Y., was elected to serve a
three-year term as a director. He previously served on the board from 1996 to
2005 and was president of PIDA in 2002
and 2003. Reid will represent live animal
wholesalers on the PIDA board.
Jim Bradley of Bradley Caldwell Inc.,
Rob Chouinard of Phillips Feed & Pet
Supply, Ryan Judge of Southeast Pet and
Clancy Lavins of Animal Supply Co., will
continue to serve on the board as well.
Focused on Food
At H3 Pet Supply, pet owners seek out healthful USA made
consumables with non-GMO ingredients.
Lisa Gay, co-owner of H3 Pet Supply in Stratford, Conn.
Type of business: brick-and-mortar
Years in business: 9
Special services: veterinary clinics for shots, etc.; a host of adoption events for all types of animals; an
on-site cat adoption room directed by a local cat rescue; complimentary nail trims for all pets adopted
from the store; local delivery
Pet Product News: What products are customers most interested in right now?
Lisa Gay: Most customers, new and old, come in for good food that won’t “break the bank,” and that
is really where we try to have options and educate folks so they know what they are purchasing.
Non-GMO and made in the USA are huge factors in customers’ decisions. Most of our customers
understand that if we wouldn’t feed it, we won’t sell it, and that helps build confidence.
PPN: What are your favorite products right now?
LG: My favorite product in the store is raw goat’s milk. Customers can see the benefits in my own
pets as my adopted dogs, who spend time in the store, are generally older and debilitated. Once
customers see actual results, they run to the freezer. That holds true for the raw and freeze-dried
raw foods we also offer.
PPN: What trends have you been keeping your eye on most closely?
LG: The trends I see are for less expensive and non-GMO [food]. Everyone wants the same “clean”
food [for their pets] as they consume.
PPN: What business goal are you hoping to achieve this year?
LG: Attracting new customers and increasing sales are always
on the forefront of our yearly goals, and with our diversity
and the assistance we offer to the community, we seem to
have a good reputation that helps us attain these goals.