From the start, we have valued the strength of our employees, and our partnerships with loyal customers, suppliers, and the pet industry.
LONG STORIED HISTORY
Elmira Pet Products has a long and storied history, with almost 40 years of experience developing and manufacturing pet food. From the start, we have valued the strength of our employees, and our partnerships with loyal customers, suppliers, and the pet industry. While we are proud of that history, we always look forward to writing the next chapter.
1923-1978: Martin Feed Mills
The roots of Elmira Pet Products can be traced back to Eli Martin, who operated a chopping mill to grind grains for local farmers. This humble beginning provided the foundation for Martin Feed Mills. That operation went on to supply well-known brands, including Doc Kennedy, named after the staff veterinarian, Dr. Al Kennedy.
1979-1995: Martin Pet Foods
Business thrived and the company looked to diversify, entering the pet food manufacturing industry. The facility started shipping super-premium pet food to compete against the well-established American brands. As sales grew, the company continued to invest in improving the main facility, which is now the current home of Elmira Pet Products.
The superior brands produced at Elmira, which developed a reputation in the industry for strength and performance, attracted top-tier, private label customers. They were interested in our manufacturing, marking the start of our private label business.
Other companies around the world noticed Elmira. The first international export shipment was sent to Japan, jumpstarting our very successful global presence.
A therapeutic, veterinary product line was introduced and went on to become the Number 1 brand within the channel. The innovation, product performance, and quality were second to none.
To ensure the highest standards, the plant staff worked diligently to receive ISO 9000 certification.
1996-2001: H.J. Heinz
The successful and thriving business was purchased by H.J. Heinz Company of Canada Ltd. This acquisition secured Heinz a spot on the list of the Top 5 pet food companies in the world.
2002-2004: Del Monte
Del Monte purchased the North American Pet Food and Pet Snacks business from Heinz, which included the acquisition of the Elmira facility.
Del Monte sold select brands to Royal Canin, which was looking to enter the veterinary channel. These products continued to be made in Elmira for six years, ensuring that the high-quality standards and service expectations were maintained.
2005-Present: Elmira Pet Products
Bryan Cook, the current Elmira Pet Products CEO/President, joined the Research & Development team in 1993 and worked his way through all key areas of the operation. In the 12 years leading up to 2005, Bryan experienced the commitment, expertise, and passion of his coworkers, all while developing firsthand knowledge of the plant. It motivated him to purchase the manufacturing facility and start Elmira Pet Products.
Elmira Pet Products met the stringent quality standards required to achieve European Union certification. This step continued to strengthen the company’s global presence and reputation for making top-quality pet food products.
Elmira Pet Products welcomed Dave Johnston and Paul Feick as shareholders. Their expertise was critical for the company’s continued growth. Dave brought over two decades of experience in business and product development expertise in senior management positions. Paul, an entrepreneurial leader, also had more than 20 years of experience in advancing corporations into high-performance cultures.
Continuing a commitment to the highest food safety standards in the industry, Elmira Pet Products became the first dry pet food company in Canada to receive the BRC food safety accreditation. We have been certified by BRC every year since.
The ever-increasing demand for top-quality pet food led to Elmira Pet Products breaking ground on a multi-year $31-million expansion to improve the facility.
Phase 1 of the multi-year project focused on the expansion and refurbishment of the dry-mix operation. This included the construction of a dedicated ingredient warehouse, an enclosed receiving area, additional dry ingredient silos, new hammer mills, and various pieces of new equipment, software, and support systems. All of these improvements were implemented to optimize material handling, increase throughput capacity, and above all, advance food safety and security processes.
Phase 2 of the project saw the focus shift to the construction of a brand new facility extension to house additional extruders and a dedicated fresh ingredient handling area, as well as an additional lunchroom and office space for the growing workforce of over 200 employees. The expansion enabled Elmira Pet Products to introduce a fifth extruder and created room for the future arrival of a sixth unit.
As demand for high-quality products continued to grow, the sixth extruder was installed, cementing Elmira Pet Product’s position as the largest Private Label manufacturer in Canada. Additional packaging capacity and warehouse space were also added to manage consistent double-digit growth.