A Passion for Pets: A New Breed of Entrepreneur

According to USA Today, research indicates that owning a pet improves your health. Sixty-two percent of U.S. households will likely agree – given the latest statistics on pet...

According to USA Today, research indicates that owning a pet improves your health. Sixty-two percent of U.S. households will likely agree – given the latest statistics on pet ownership, which equates to 71.4 million homes. APPA [American Pet Product Association] estimates that in 2010 alone, pet enthusiasts have collectively spent $47.7 billion on man’s best friend and other well-loved animals here in the U.S. It’s no surprise that American’s love their pets.

The pet food industry continues to make great strides to meet the demands of its discerning pet devotees. Consumers are increasingly more conscious of what their pets are eating these days. This concern has propelled demand for superior quality pet foods that meet nutritional and well-being needs. More and more ingredients used in human foods are making their way into pet food and treats.

The US market for natural pet food has more than doubled since 2005; worth $1.5 billion in 2009, and expected to reach $2.6 billion in 2014. A new breed of entrepreneur seeks to meet this rise in demand head on, capitalizing on a growing and profitable industry niche that shows no indication of slowing down. One such entrepreneur, Pasha Cook, the Founder of All Natural Pet Delivery, turned her passion for pets into an opportunity to educate and empower pet owners.

Company: All Natural Pet Delivery

Founder, Age: Pasha Cook, 36

Location: Houston, Texas

Startup Year: 2010

Startup Costs: 22,000

How I Got Started: As a former collegiate basketball player and health & wellness teacher I decided to pursue my passion for pets. I wanted to create an opportunity to help educate pet owners on how to obtain better overall wellness for their pets. My goal was to supply them with healthier product choices. I saw a need for a more convenient way to offer pet owners these products choices. So, I created All Natural Pet Delivery.

Best Customer Interaction: My very first order was a lady named Maria, who was having a challenging day but needed to order food for her cats. She called me and we went back and forth for a few hours because she had to keep calling me back due to interruptions. To top it all off when she went to place her order over the phone because her computer was down. After some delay and difficulty, the order was finally processed and she said, “Thank you Jesus!” This statement touched me because I am also a prayerful individual. Since the launch of my company I have prayed to God about my new business venture. I try to always ask God to order my steps and I wanted to know if this particular business was what he wanted for me? Shortly after the order was completed, Maria and I began to talk more about our walk with God. By the end of our conversation I knew this moment signified that this was God answering my prayers. Maria blessed me with my first official order and told me that God was going to bless my company to be very prosperous. I will never forget that moment no matter where my company goes from here.

Biggest Startup Challenge: My biggest challenge was setting up the actual website. It took months to come up with a concept that had a look and feel that I approved of. Once we got past that challenge, building the store was something I could have never fathomed. It was an even longer and more tedious process.

#1 Tips for Newbies: Find “your” niche, something that makes you different from all the rest and go for it. There are many challenges seen and unseen when creating your own business. If you find “your” particular niche and something that you are passionate about, then you are already headed in the right direction.

Source: USA Today, American Pet Products, Pet Food Industry


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