It all started in 1986 when Tom McBratney set up two sawhorses and an old door to make his first packing and shipping table in his basement in Abbotsford, British-Columbia. From this foundation, Pan Pacific Pet grew from one brand of food to more than 9000 products distributed to Canadian pet retailers. Since the very beginning, they have been family owned and oriented.
One challenge that Pan Pacific faced in their beginning was how to achieve “critical mass”, meaning finding enough quality products that consumers were looking for, which would incite stores to order from them. As a young company, they were not yet a “must-have” distributor and faced the challenge of how to attract quality brands and find great products while continuing operations. They quickly understood both what is valued in this industry, and what is most valued by their team: trust and integrity. Knowing that the pet industry is filled with emotions tied to pets and their families, Pan Pacific set out to be honest, accountable and to find products they believed in. This trust allowed them to successfully place products on shelves and continue to grow their business. Mike Patrick, Pan Pacific’s Marketing & Communications Manager shared: “As individuals and as a team, we see bringing opportunity to others through service as a key-value we all share. Rising every morning with this value helped us achieve our growth by being proud of our efforts and our offerings and always asking “what do you need” each day during our long journey to who we are today.”.
Some accomplishments that the company is proud of include becoming one of the first raw food specialists, as well as investing in steering technology towards helping retailers. Pan Pacific recently completed a 130,000 cubic-foot frozen warehouse in Calgary, Alberta, built with the highest standards in handling frozen products. They have also expanded their Abbotsford frozen warehousing. Additionally, the company developed a custom iPad app to help retailers save time and make it easier than ever to view their offerings and promotions. Being service-driven, these accomplishments stand out to them as some of the ones they are most proud of.
Many people do not realize that the founder, Tom McBratney, is still president of Pan Pacific to this day! Their CEO, Phil Klaassen was also one of their first pet-side sales representatives. The heart of their culture is family connections and length of service from their employees. Spouses and adult children of employees frequently apply for positions and are hired, giving them the opportunity to work alongside family members. The team is filled with members who have been with the company for decades, much like the CEO. The company always encourages personal development, expanded education initiatives and other training and support services requested by its staff.
Being a PIJAC Canada member for over 20 years has allowed Pan Pacific to be a part of the bigger picture of the pet industry worldwide and nationally. Their full engagement and investment in PIJAC Canada trade shows, has allowed retailers to witness their growth in person and display their products to new customers. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Pan Pacific made a generous donation to the association to help support the continued efforts of ensuring fair laws, best practices, and that animal welfare continues to be everyone’s business. Thank you, Pan Pacific, for this incredible act. PIJAC Canada is lucky to have members like you who look out for the well-being of the association and of pets everywhere!