Q What did you see in Jones Naturals that made you want to be a part of the company’s future?
A There were three key things I saw in Jones that made me want to be a part of the company’s future:
1.The Jones commitment to quality, natural products made with all USA-sourced ingredients, which has become increasingly important to pet parents.
2.This family-founded pet chew company has a rich history in meat sourcing and cutting, which gave me the confidence that I would be working with the best in the business.
3. I saw an opportunity for company growth by combining my experience with brand development and distribution growth with the Jones family’s expertise in the category of natural chews.
Q Where did the new look for Rocky, the company mascot, come from?
A Rocky felt he was ready for a new style. His fun, lovely, generally happy nature was not coming through in his old image. Honestly, so many [members] of our Jones team weighed in on style improvements, it’s hard to say. I will admit we have a graphic designer I’ve worked with for many years that is a genius and has a great way of evoking personalities in characters.
Q What have you learned about the pet industry since you entered it in 2003 with Ultra Pet?
A I’ve learned so much over the past 14 years and am still learning every day. Prior to being in the pet industry I worked in branded marketing and sales to predominately food, drug and mass retailers. Since being in pet, I’ve come to understand and greatly appreciate the loyalty of pet specialty retailers to the brands that are committed to their channel of distribution. Additionally, I’ve learned not to underestimate pet parents that shop in pet specialty. These consumers are serious and know their stuff, for the most part. Transparency and quality go a long way with them.
Q What are your plans regarding strategies, programs and support for independent retailers?
A We are committed to our indie retailers and will be offering more opportunities in 2018 to run specials so that their customers can experience the Jones Natural Chews difference with their dogs. In addition, we will be coming out this year with an expanded line of premium meaty snacks for indie retailers that will include inclusions, organic, exotic meats and training treats. They will be able to expect the same great Jones service levels, on-time delivery and quality in an expanded set.
Q Can you tell us what makes your pets special to you?
A Wow, that could be a very long answer, but I’ll try to just hit the highlights. I grew up in the country and still live on a farm. Pets have always been a part of my life, and my family always treated them as family members. I guess I would have to say that has given me a healthy respect and appreciation for their unconditional love, companionship and loyalty. I could elaborate on each of those points and give examples, but it would turn into more of a dissertation