Entrepreneur Risks Everything to Become the First Black Franchisor in a $21 Billion Pet Industry

Adrian Archie is the founder and CEO of petNmind Natural Nutrition, Supplies, & Hygiene, a one-stop-shop for holistic pet nutrition and care.

Archie is the first African American to launch and sell franchises in the $21 billion pet industry. The store’s small box concept model helps deliver the best quality products, services and experiences to the growing number of discerning pet owners who appreciate a more insightful, less intimidating approach to pet care.

For franchise owners, petNmind has created a simple and affordable concept of pet supplies and services. Its small footprint and simplicity are ideal for first-time entrepreneurs, but it’s also robust enough for experienced entrepreneurs and/or investors to capture the attention of the majority of pet owners in their communities and scale quickly.

Adrian Archie, CEO of petNmind Franchise (Image courtesy of petNmind Naturals & Self-Wash Franchise)

Archie launched the flagship Coconut Creek, Florida location in 2016. The natural and holistic pet food store focused on quality and nutrition as a healthier alternative to items found on the shelves of big-box retailers, with a focus on nutritional research. solutions to a range of problems often created by dietary deficiencies.

The first franchise location in Ft. Lauderdale, FL is expected to open in November. Additional locations are expected to open next year in Los Angeles and Orlando. Currently, petNmind is backed by a venture capital investment from Leap Partners, a pet industry venture capital firm.

In addition to dog and cat food and supplies, for a nominal fee, guests can take advantage of grooming services such as washing, shedding removal, ear cleaning and nail trimming. A monthly dental clinic without anesthesia completes the hygienic offer. And for customers interested in regular dog washing services, petNmind offers a recurring subscription program allowing unlimited use of the facility for a monthly fee.

(Image: PetNmind Franchise Retail Products/Courtesy petNmind Naturals & Self-Wash Franchise)

Turning passion into profit

Archie has always had a passion for animals. After college, he spent two years in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Montreal Allouettes, and briefly spent time in the National Football League (NFL) with the Atlanta Falcons in 2005 before moving on. embark on a more traditional career in corporate America.

After a career in health sales and marketing that spanned a decade, Archie finally decided to pursue his passion to open his own store offering holistic nutrition, all-natural treats and pet supplies.

When asked why he decided to franchise, Archie explains, “I wanted to support people who want to do more and take greater calculated risks.[s] in business but don’t know how or where to start or just need a strong team around them.

“The support we provide is based on what I’ve learned from doing it myself successfully for almost eight years. Everything from successfully transitioning from Corporate America – no easy task – to successfully launching, engaging customers, operating and scaling a profitable supply and hygiene business for pets.

He also shared valuable advice for business owners considering franchising.

“Get your systems in place first,” he says. “That’s what people really invest in. A turnkey system that reduces the risk of failure. Initially, I just thought it was all about numbers, especially profit, and yes, that matters. No one starts a business to not make money. However, I believe fit and industry are more important. What good is a profitable business if you hate doing it, if your kids don’t want to continue, or if the resale market is challenged by buyers who don’t want to belong to a particular industry? »

“So even as an emerging franchisor, it’s important to know the value of your industry, your concept, and the possibilities for success by being part of both simultaneously. Finally, have a solid plan or source for accessing capital, through debt financing, investors, or professional and personal networks. Ultimately, it’s expensive when you consider lead marketing, sales commissions, public relations, training, travel, key team salaries, and more.

While Archie planned to franchise the concept, there were always challenges along the way, both expected and unexpected.

“The biggest burdens of the transition were money and access,” says Archie. “It’s an expensive proposition to franchise your business and market it to attract leads and build brand awareness. As an emerging franchisor that has relatively mature competition in the franchise business, it’s not hard to break through the noise to get noticed. The biggest challenge is the cost involved in franchise marketing to break through the noise just to find interested people and then engage them through the process, which can be quite a long cycle from start to finish.

(Image courtesy of petNmind Naturals & Self-Wash Franchise)

petNmind is currently developing a digital platform called Pet Quotient or PQ, which will enable their customers, franchisees, as well as several in-house product lines focused on the specific health of pets.

BIPOC representation missing

The pet care industry is quite mature and reached a milestone in 2020, with total sales of $103.6 billion, an all-time high, according to the state of the industry report. American Pet Products Association (APPA). This represents a 6.7% increase from retail sales of $97.1 billion in 2019 (Supermarket News, March 2021).

But with all this success, there are very few BIPOC involved in ownership in the industry. Archie was delighted to have his say on this matter.

“This subject is near and dear to my heart and my personal purpose on this earth. Companion animals change lives and more and more communities need their healing presence.

“BIPOC customers and entrepreneurs are the biggest growth opportunity for the pet industry,” says Archie. “Ultimately, it comes down to a lack of exposure. BIPOC communities simply don’t have the same exposure to pets and animals. Socioeconomics plays a role because pets can be expensive. There are historical reasons why companion animals, dogs in particular, are feared by BIPOC communities. Cultural reasons also play a role.

“I grew up with pets from day one and know firsthand the positive benefits pets have on children and adults alike,” he adds. “Yet many of my friends and family haven’t, and as a result, the humanizing trend is just beginning to reach BIPOC communities. Owning a pet comes first, and from there, owning a business will follow. People need to be exposed and see living examples of the possibilities, then they see the way.

About Keith Johnson

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