Boulder, Colorado-based investment firm Revelry Brands acquired a stake in Only Natural Pet Store LLC, and that partnership led to the desire to create a superpremium petfood brand. That brand is "I and love and you," a manufacturer of a variety of pet products designed to be wholesome and healthful for cats and dogs.
The brand did well initially, gaining ground on Whole Foods shelves and tripling its sales from 2012 to 2013, according to the companies. Now, growth capital investment from Chicago-based Winona Capital Management and Revelry will allow "I and love and you" to build its executive team, increase product development efforts, expand to a new facility and prepare for a national launch with the next retailer, Kroger.
The launch may triple or quadruple "I and love and you's" distribution, which currently sits at 1,200 stores and retailers. The 65 products under the brand range from kibble and treats to supplements and medications. The idea, said Steve Ball, CEO of "I and love and you," was to create a brand that would cover all elements of pet care and products that would be on the leading edge of trends such as dehydrated raw food.
Winona said that it expects the trend of buying natural food for pets to continue "as increases in pet ownership and disposable income as well as the humanization of pets drive demand for premium pet products and services." Jason Sowers, a Winona principal, said it is a great opportunity to invest in a company that is "a great leader, an excellent brand with innovative products."