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Mother-Son Power Duo Transform Pet Nutrition in Northern Virginia with Fresh Pet Food Franchise Pet Wants

Since opening their Pet Wants location in 2019, the Mangones have tapped into the pet food franchise’s flexible and proven business model to create the family business of their dreams.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 12:12PM 07/27/23

Carla Mangone and her 18-year-old son, Peter, are the mother-son duo from Northern Virginia who have found their calling with Pet Wants, a fresh pet food franchise with over 140 units that offers premium-quality pet food made from natural ingredients. Their family-driven journey into franchising actually began with the addition of a new, furry member to the family. 

“When we first adopted our dog, she stopped eating the food she was on when we rescued her,” said Carla Mangone. “So, we bought a bag of Pet Wants food, and she scarfed it down immediately. That is when we knew that we wanted to bring Pet Wants to the Chantilly area.”

Before franchising, Carla's background was in trade associations and non-profit organizations, where she worked as a director of meetings. She took a break to stay home with her kids and returned to the workforce with a part-time role. When she was unexpectedly laid off, her husband suggested opening a franchise. 

"We wanted to control our own destiny, have our own business and grow that for our family," Carla said. 

In addition to the quality of the product, Pet Wants drew the Mangones in because of the extensive training and support offered, which made the process of opening the business less intimidating.

“The fact that you didn’t have to have that nutrition background and the amount of training that they offered to open the franchise really spoke to us,” said Carla. “I didn’t have any of that knowledge beforehand, so I knew we needed that support to succeed with the business.”

Working with family has always been an essential part of the Mangones’ decision to become entrepreneurs. Initially, the plan was for Carla's husband to join her in running the business eventually. However, their son Peter's involvement happened organically. When Carla asked him to help hand out treats to dogs at an event, he quickly stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park.

“My son was 16 at the time — I’ll never forget it,” said Carla. “He came, handed out some treats and before I knew it he was taking orders and talking to customers. I could tell he really enjoyed it.”

Today, Peter has a part-time role as a Market Associate, working events and managing one market. He has also helped build out the rest of the team. 

“I have five other teenage boys working for me in various capacities who are friends with my son,” said Carla. “We knew we wanted to branch out into other markets, but we didn’t have the staff at first. Since we had found success with our son, we reached out to some friends who also had teenage sons and asked if they wanted a job. They’ve been a huge help in bringing our product to more people.”

Overall, the Pet Wants business model has provided the Mangone family with the kind of flexibility they needed to involve all their children in the business. In addition to Peter, Carla's older son helped with deliveries while home from college, and her daughter and her friends plan to work with them next year.

“Working with the family was really the initial goal from the get go,” said Carla. “Since teenagers have their own things going on, that flexibility is really important. We’ve really enjoyed working with the family — all the hard work is definitely worth it.”

The Mangone family's growth plans focus on farmer's markets, where they've found their niche and built strong relationships with customers. Carla Mangone says she wants to continue attending events and expanding her team, providing her children and their friends with the opportunity to gain valuable life skills.

"We have a great team, and it is great to give them the opportunity to think about what they want to do in the future," said Carla.

Since opening their franchise in 2019, the Mangone family has worked together to make a significant impact in their community by sharing their passion for pet nutrition. Their journey highlights the power of family support and the opportunities that franchising can offer to entrepreneurs looking to make a difference.

Pet Wants is seeking qualified, passionate franchisees like the Mangones in markets across the U.S., starting with Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas, Missouri, Idaho, Texas, and Arizona.

“This is an opportunity that is primed to succeed anywhere we take it,” said Paul Kamm, vice president of operations. “That has been proven time and again with each new franchise launch, and moreover by the demand we are seeing in markets where we haven’t even set up shop yet. The model has been perfected. Now, it’s just a matter of finding talented partners who share our passion for pet health to introduce Pet Wants to their communities.”

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