How Woof Gang Bakery is Reimagining Pet Nutrition and Care
By Carrie Stevenson
For Woof Gang Bakery franchise owner Ryan Wesner, pet care is personal. Six years ago, Wesner decided to open his Lake Nona location because he was tired of driving out of town for higher quality pet care products when his dogs were facing health issues and allergies. When one dog was hurt during an appointment at a grooming facility, Wesner decided that opening a Woof Gang Bakery location was a good fit for him as a business owner and a dog lover. And six years later, after opening his second location in Suntree in August, the personal approach has paid off. “We offer the best products at a reasonable price to keep your dog happy and healthy,” he explains. “We’re a smaller, more independent-style store. We carry several different product lines, and everything we offer is high quality. We want to be the neighborhood pet store, where we’re always on a first-name basis with the dogs, and sometimes even with the people.”
Drawn by Woof Gang Bakery’s simpler approach to nutrition and grooming, Mr. Wesner tried a raw diet regimen aimed at addressing one dog’s allergies and watched the symptoms disappear. He also appreciated that Woof Gang Bakery offered a more hands-on approach to grooming with less automated processes than many facilities. And he believed in the franchise because they offer higher quality nutrition options and services at prices comparable to other national pet specialty retailers.
“We really aim to get away from the more processed stuff and get to more ingredient-style foods,” Wesner explains. “Initially, higher quality dog food is more expensive than a basic kind of kibble. But if you have a healthy dog, your expenditures annually will be less – their weight is better and they can avoid allergy issues that you need to treat with more frequent vet visits and medications. If you ate McDonald’s every day, you would have health problems too. Good food for dogs will lead to better health. And the reverse is true as well; if there’s a problem, we want to try to treat it with the diet.” Woof Gang Bakery offers several raw diet options, as well as super premium kibble and high-quality wet/dry food options.
The grooming options at Woof Gang Bakery are perfect for keeping pets in the Florida heat healthier and more comfortable as well. The deshedding process is a popular choice involving high-speed blow dryers, protein-enhanced shampoo, and a brushing that pulls so much dead hair from the coat “it ends up looking like snow in the back room,” laughs Wesner. Keeping up with a grooming schedule leaves the coat – and the dog – happier and healthier.
“Once we get customers, we have a very high return rate,” Wesner says. “I think that’s because we’re trying to bring that more intimate, small shop feel to the experience and really build a family environment. We want people to come into the shop, feel comfortable talking with us about the products and trying to figure out what will work best for them.” ◆