bannerFranchisee Stories

Local Shipping Industry Expert Now Delivering High-Quality Pet Food and Supplies to Community

Jeff Wilson recently opened Pet Wants in McKenzie.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
Updated 1:13PM 05/15/23

Jeff Wilson has been in the shipping and delivery industry for over 25 years in Nashville, Memphis & South Florida. A few years after deciding to move back to his hometown of McKenzie, Wilson noticed his Doberman, Missy, was no longer interested in the food she was eating. As any concerned pet owner would do, Wilson began searching for healthy pet food alternatives for Missy. After learning that most dog food brands have an 18-month expiration date, he turned to fresher options. That’s how he discovered Pet Wants, the fresh and nutrient-rich pet food brand.

Wilson recently opened his Pet Wants location on October 24th. He’s looking forward to bringing the brand to other pet owners in the area. Wilson plans on continuing his business with a mobile unit to serve more people in the small towns surrounding McKenzie and eventually grow to a storefront location.

1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Jeff Wilson: I worked with FedEx for 22 years and the post office for four years. So I have a lot of experience in the delivery industry. I used to live near Nashville, but I wanted to move back to my hometown. So I quit my job to move home to McKenzie. Once I moved back, I got a job driving a truck.

I have a Doberman, Missy, and she didn’t really like the food I was giving her. I started researching the dates on dog food and I was shocked to find that it doesn’t expire for 18 months in most cases. I was feeding her food that was a year old. I discovered Pet Wants and have been feeding her that for about six months. I could tell the difference immediately, and she loved the food. So I began looking into business opportunities with the brand to bring that quality of dog food and supplies to the area.

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Wilson: I never really thought about buying a franchise until I started looking at Pet Wants. I wanted to go with a business I could run from home at first, so I really loved that I could start with a mobile unit.

1851: What makes you stand out as business owners in your local community?

Wilson: My wife, April, and I both grew up in McKenzie. Everyone knows us here, and they know they can trust us. It will help us stand out that there aren’t any delivery services around this area, especially for pet supplies.

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Wilson: April and I went to Discovery Day with Pet Wants, and we both just loved the brand. April was more skeptical than I was going into it, but they had everything laid out really well. Everyone who works for Pet Wants corporate was very welcoming and transparent. You could tell they truly loved their jobs and cared about the franchisees. That was so important to us.

I’m excited to bring this brand to McKenzie and the surrounding towns. Most towns in this area are very small. They range in population from 5,000 to 15,000 people. Usually, in small towns, there aren’t pet stores. You have to go to a grocery store to get supplies. But by opening a Pet Wants, I’ll be able to offer the community great, healthy options.

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Wilson: I just want to get the word out about Pet Wants and expand my business. I plan to be involved in local events in the community so people can see the product. I’m starting with a mobile unit first to see where the majority of interest in the product comes from and that’s possibly where a store will go in the future.

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Wilson: I would suggest talking to as many current and past franchise owners as possible. See what their opinions are and what advice they can offer. I talked to several different owners before signing, and they all had great things to say about the brand. That helped solidify my decision.