We recently talked with Peter H. Reid, president and COO of Marshall Pet Products, based in Wolcott, N.Y., about his company and their commitment to quality ferret products.
Q: How did you get into the pet industry?
Reid: I got into the pet industry a few years after college. It definitely wasn’t planned, it gets into your blood, you know you are helping to make the lives of children, families and pets great.
Q: Marshall Pet is a leader when it comes to ferret and small animal products. Tell us about this niche market, and why it’s important.
Reid: Marshall has been involved in the pet business since 1939, breeding and raising world class quality ferrets. About 21 years ago, we entered into the product and nutrition business to make sure anyone who decides to own a pet ferret will have the very best products to care for their new pet. Since then we have expanded into the dog, cat and equine markets.
The ferret market fills an important niche. It is often a first or second pet to a household. It is smaller in nature, but large on personality, which is why they are so popular. They are great for all demographics and adapt well to the lifestyles of the household they are in.
Q: At one point you had a ferret in the office, who got the chance to test out all the new toys before they hit the market. What inspires the new products, like the recently introduced two lane ferret racetrack the company introduced at Global Pet Expo?
Reid: Yes, we often will have ferrets at the office and more recently focus groups all over the USA and Canada that get to test out new ideas and give us excellent content and feedback.
Anyone and everyone at Marshall provides feedback on new ideas and concepts, we tend to be quite the creative group, of course it is ultimately the ferrets that give a thumbs up or thumbs down on product concepts. The racetrack was definitely a compilation of many and it is a riot to race ferrets, great for the home, or store or distributor events.
Q: Giving back to the community is a big part of the culture at Marshall Pet. What are some of the ways you do this?
Reid: Giving back to the community definitely has deep roots at Marshall. It really started with our founder Gilman Marshall and his wife providing that example to all of their employees, and since then it has been engrained in our corporate culture for over 70 years. Everything from schools, fire departments, community events, animal shelters and special events. We give back to those who dedicate so much time to our success; it goes both ways.
Q: Tell us about your business philosophy, and how it impacts the way you run your company.
Reid: My business philosophy is quite simple; find the right people with the right character and skills and let them do their job without being overbearing. Treat people fairly and with respect and they will do the same for your business and its customers. We have a great team that is willing to do what it takes to serve our customers and future customers.