MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO — Dane Creek Capital Corp. announced earlier this month it has acquired two Canadian pet specialty retailers through its majority-owned subsidiary, United Raw Pet Foods Inc. Both retailers are based in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and mark the company’s third and fourth retail acquisitions to date.
Dane Creek first acquired Lucky Paws Enterprises Inc., a pet specialty retailer operating two stores in Vancouver Island. The company was founded in 2012 by Shannon Wetselaar when she opened the first store in Mill Bay. Wetselaar opened another store in South Duncan in 2019 and expanded Lucky Paws’ offerings to include bathing and grooming services.
“I am delighted to now be a member of the United Raw team and look forward to helping make their vision for Vancouver Island a reality,” Wetselaar said. “My team here at Lucky Paws is excited to work with the teams at United Raw and our sister locations to make the retail experience for our pet parents even more enjoyable.”
Dane Creek also acquired A Pet’s Life Ventures Inc., which operates one pet store in Oak Bay, Victoria, British Columbia. Chad McMillan purchased A Pet’s Life in 2019, and will now join the United Raw Pet Foods team and assume management of the Growlies Pet Foods Inc. location in Langford, British Columbia, which was acquired by Dane Creek in January 2021.
In April 2021, Dane Creek acquired The Wild Side Pet Boutique Inc., which runs two pet retail stores in British Columbia.
“I am very excited to be joining the team,” McMillan commented. “United Raw’s commitment to pets in our community and desire to make further investments made my decision to become part of the team easy.”
Following these acquisitions, Dane Creek Capital now owns six pet retail locations in Vancouver Island, a 62-square-mile stretch of land home to roughly 846,000 people, per 2020 population data. The company cited “recent surveys” when reporting that Langford and Duncan are “among the top 10 fastest-growing communities in British Columbia.”
“I am pleased to be making this announcement,” said Mark Warren, chairman and chief executive officer of Dane Creek. “Vancouver Island represents a unique opportunity in the pet industry. Supported by outstanding demographics and high levels of pet ownership, the Island offers an opportunity to create a pet-focused ecosystem of products and services unlike virtually any other part of Canada. With six retail locations, we have established a strong base on which to add other pet-related product and services offerings.”
United Raw Pet Food’s now six pet retail locations in Canada are equipped with more than 70 freezers stocking over 35 brands of raw pet food products, bones, broths, yogurts, snacks and meal toppers for dogs and cats. The company remains focused on growing its raw pet food offerings, with plans to increase its total freezer space by 20% over the next six months.
Both Lucky Paws and A Pet’s Life will continue operations under their own brand names. This is a strategic choice for Dane Creek Capital Corp., which is seen in the company’s previous acquisitions of Growlies and The Wild Side.
“The strength of consumable pet brands is with the retailer, not with the manufacturer,” Warren added. “As the leading owner of raw food brands and pet specialty retailers in Canada, we recognize the influence that well-trained retail staff can have on the decisions pet owners make when it comes to their pets’ nutritional needs.”
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