A little history
There are many people in our system today with stories that will motivate and inspire, but when we want to share the true story behind Pet Planet we have to start with Laura Leah and Joan, our co-founders. Here is their story:
A LETTER FROM LAURA LEAH
Thank you very much for your interest in Pet Planet.
My name is Laura Leah English, and I am one of the founding partners of Pet Planet. Like many people today, I came to a crossroads in my professional career that presented me with an opportunity to make a major change – continue to climb the corporate ladder or take the road less travelled and become and entrepreneur. After much consideration I knew that adventure was calling and I had to answer that call.
I am truly blessed… When I wake up everyday I take a few moments to receive all the sloppy “Good Morning ” kisses and the snuggles of my four legged family members. I then get ready to spend the day at my other home, Pet Planet.
Owner and Operator in Slave Lake, Alberta
We have worn many hats throughout our lives and nothing has been more rewarding than our life with Pet Planet. Everyday we get to meet great pet parents and best of all we get to share in the lives of their pets.
Owners and Operators in Sylvan Lake, Alberta
It is always easy to make criteria lists and retail promises, but in our case we take this very seriously… and we can prove it.
We don’t put anything on our shelves that we would not use with our own pets, so with that promise in mind, we instituted our product selection criteria to help us make the best decisions for all of our pets.
- We do not source food products from China
- We prefer products that are self- manufactured
- We look for accountability for where ingredients are sourced, are they:
- Locally sourced – within 100 km of manufacturer?
- Sourced from North America or from other countries?
- From the human or animal food chain?
- What are manufacturing processes, i.e. how the food is prepared/cooked to maintain nutritional integrity of the ingredients
- What are the main protein and carbohydrate sources?
- Is the food grain-free or grain-based, and if so, what are the grain sources?
- What are the fat sources – good fats like salmon or flax seed oil vs. lard or animal fat?
- What preservatives, additives and artificial colorings are added, if any? Natural or chemical?
- What flavouring agents or sweeteners were used to manipulate taste ? natural or artificial?
Where It All Started
After losing a beloved dog named Reuben, Joan and Laura Leah, a mother and daughter team looking to start a business, found the inspiration and the industry that they knew they could most positively impact:
- They opened first location in Calgary, Alberta in 1996
- Over the next three years they opened and operated 2 additional locations
- In 1999 Pet Planet received Calgary’s Emerging Enterprise of the Year award
- After the death of her seven year old golden Kali, Laura Leah started the Kali’s Wish Cancer Foundation
- In 2004, Pet Planet opened store six, in the new market of Edmonton, Alberta
- Also in 2004, Pet Planet received the Profit W100award, Canada’s largest celebration of the top 100 female entrepreneurs
- In 2006, Pet Planet opened the first franchised store in Strathmore, AB
- 2009 brought expansion into the Ontario marketplace
- In 2011, a new franchised store in St. John’s Newfoundland opened, taking Pet Planet coast-to-coast in Canada
- In the same year of 2011, Pet Planet opened in Scottsdale, Arizona
- The first franchised location in the United States was granted in Phoenix, Arizona in 2012
- A second franchise location was granted in Phoenix, AZ in 2015
- In 2015 Pet Planet celebrated 54 stores – 7 corporate and 47 Franchise owned and operated locations, with seven stores now operating in the Phoenix, Arizona valley