In fall 2018, when Ron Ranney, owner and president of wholesale equestrian products distributor Canadian Saddlery and Centurion Supply, was considering how best to brand and market his company’s new pet division, he looked to his two pups for inspiration.
Finn, a four-year-old Yorkie-poo (Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle) and her brother Fletcher, an eight-month-old Morkie (Maltese/Yorkshire Terrier) are the names and faces of The Finn & Fletcher Co. “I sat down and had a meeting with them and worked out the terms of the deal,” chuckled Ron. “Royalty payments are forthwith. Although, in truth, the pups’ real boss is my wife and business partner, Jodi.”
Canadian Saddlery and Centurion Supply has been a leader in the equestrian retail supply domain for several decades. Offering a small selection of pet products for many years, Ron and team knew the market, especially for dogs, was perfect for diversification.
“The pet industry is closely tied to what we do and the channels we already have. Nearly every horse person owns at least one dog, so we automatically had a customer base, especially with the feed and farm outlets and chains but some of the tack shops as well that had pet product sections,” Ron said from the company’s head office in Stratford, Ontario. “There was also crossover with some of our suppliers that gave us a unique entry point into the industry. Most mainline pet suppliers don’t have any exposure to the equine market.”
Ron and staff are also preparing for something they’ve never done before. A new website (set to launch in a couple of months) will not only serve retail outlet customers but, he said, “We are entering the world of online retail with The Finn & Fletcher division. It’s very exciting for us.”
At thefinnandfletcherco.com, pet owners will find an e-commerce section where they can buy a wide array of treats, grooming tools, supplements, toys, beds, dog-wear and so much more.
Ron stresses his company’s strength is the “great people we have working here,” but he will likely have to also extend the accolade to two little canines. Finn, whom Ron describes as, “a prima donna, aloof and tough as nails,” will, no doubt, have a firm paw on The Finn & Fletcher Co. operations, while “careless and carefree” baby brother Fletcher will surely oversee treat distribution and daily walkies.