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Private Equity Firm Invests in Omnichannel Retailer Pet Food Express


Press release: Rainier Partners

Rainier Partners, a Seattle-based, lower-middle-market private equity firm, is pleased to announce its investment in Pet Food Express (PFE), a fast-growing, omnichannel pet retailer that sells healthy pet foods, goods and services from over 60 retail locations throughout California. Rainier’s investment will support PFE in expanding its reach to help pets and their owners live happier, healthier lives together.

Founded in 1980 by Michael Levy, PFE has helped lead the evolution of the pet industry through its unwavering dedication to offering the highest quality pet products and services, advising pet owners through its knowledgeable store team members, and supporting local pet shelters and charities.

“For over 30 years, my business partner Mark Witriol and I grew Pet Food Express without outside investment, so when it came time to choose a partner, we were very selective,” said PFE’s founder and CEO Michael Levy. “We wanted a partner that truly understood our mission and our work in the pet community. We were extremely fortunate to find a cultural match with the team at Rainier; we could not be more excited for what the company will accomplish with Rainier’s support.”

Rainier’s focus on value creation and business building will assist the team at PFE as they continue to enhance the high standard of retailing for which they have become known. At a time when pet ownership is at an all-time high, Rainier’s investment will help accelerate the company’s e-commerce capabilities and expand PFE’s brick-and-mortar presence.

“Now more than ever, pet owners are looking for ways to do what is best for their pets, and PFE has provided this level of service for more than 30 years with the right products and a highly trained staff,” said Rainier co-founder and managing partner Jon Altman.

Rainier co-founder and managing partner Alex Rolfe added, “Not only does PFE align with Rainier’s investment focus in the consumer services sector, but the company’s commitment to doing what’s best for pets and their potential for growth elevate this partnership into something truly exciting for everyone involved.”

Rainier Partners is a private equity firm founded in 2020 and based in Seattle, Washington, that invests in lower middle-market businesses. Rainier’s principals have deep experience profitably growing businesses in its four focus sectors: business services, financial services, industrial services and consumer services. Rainier’s approach is to partner with owners and management teams and proactively support them to generate value and accelerate profit growth.

Pet Food Express is California’s trusted independent pet retailer, dedicated to helping pets live longer, healthier lives. Founded by Michael Levy, Pet Food Express has reimagined pet care by focusing on the very best brands and products. PFE team members are extensively trained in all aspects of animal health and sell only those products they trust to use with their own pets, from nutrient-rich foods to high-quality supplements to convenient services like its signature in-store pet washes. The company is a committed partner to more than 300 non-profit animal rescue and shelter organizations, providing them every year with much-needed aid through fundraising, product donations, help recruiting and retaining volunteers and adoption support.

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