A legacy in the making

Amidst the excitement of building a business, it is easy to overlook the importance of planning for a smooth transition when the time comes to hand over the reins.

A legacy in the making

Amidst the excitement of building a business, it is easy to overlook the importance of planning for a smooth transition when the time comes to hand over the reins. Whether it is retirement or simply moving on to new ventures, every entrepreneur eventually faces the question of who will carry their legacy forward. As an established brand with more than 20 years in franchising, it is a journey Petpals knows well. They believe that by offering exceptional service and fostering strong connections with like-minded customers, franchisees not only ensure the success of their business during their tenure but also pave the way for a seamless transition when the time is right.

Who knows? One of these loyal customers, deeply aligned with the values of the brand, could step up to continue the legacy – ensuring that the hard work and dedication of the original owner live on in the hands of someone who shares their passion and commitment.

Here, Kevin Thackrah, Director of Petpals, highlights how this philosophy has played out for Petpals Bracknell. After three owners and a community of hundreds of furry friends cared for, the business is now celebrating 20 years of success.

As one of our earliest franchises, first opening under the management of Nick Skinner, Petpals Bracknell swiftly established itself as a cornerstone of the pet-loving community. Following significant growth, Nick entrusted the business to one of his loyal customers, Ruth Wall, in 2009. 

A testament to the enduring relationships and reputation cultivated by Petpals Bracknell with its customers, it came as no surprise that in 2018, when Ruth decided to retire, the role was assumed by yet another familiar face in the Petpals family. Peter Lea, a devoted pet parent himself, decided to leave behind the corporate world and step into the role with a deep commitment to upholding the exceptional standard of care set by his predecessors.

“I’m immensely proud to be leading a business that has been caring for Bracknell’s pets for two decades,” said Peter. “As a Petpals customer for 12 years prior to taking over, I couldn’t pass up the chance to continue providing the premium pet care that Nick and Ruth provided my lurcher, Alfie. Being able to extend that level of care to other pets in my community is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had.”

After taking the helm six years ago, Peter has propelled Petpals Bracknell to new heights – earning him the prestigious Great British Franchisee Award last year. “Since taking over the business, we’ve expanded our team to include 11 dedicated and flexible pet carers – ensuring that as many pets as possible in the Bracknell community can benefit from our services,” explained Peter. “I’m thrilled with our growth and progress, and it’s amazing to see how far the business has come. As both a former customer and now owner, it’s so gratifying to witness the evolution of our services and the positive impact we’ve had on the community.”

As the team celebrates 20 years, that mission remains steadfast. Not only have hundreds of new pet parents and furry friends joined, but there are also still clients who have been with Petpals Bracknell since day one – continuing to entrust their much-loved companions, both past and present, to receive the team’s trusted care. It is a testament to the enduring relationships that all three owners have diligently cultivated over the years.

“I think what the past six years have shown me is how much our community has embraced Petpals Bracknell, welcoming us into their hearts and homes and considering us an extension of their family,” said Peter. “To have clients who have been with Nick through to me is truly special. I have one client who says their pooch is more excited to see one of our team members walk through the door than they are to see them! I’m so glad both our clients and their pets have felt the passion that drives our work over the past 20 years.”

From Nick to Ruth and now Peter, their shared belief in the power of exceptional service and strong customer connections has not only propelled Petpals Bracknell to new heights but has also laid the foundation for a legacy that extends far beyond their individual tenures. It is an indication of the importance of building a business where outstanding service is not just a transactional tool, but the very cornerstone of a legacy in the making.

Kevin Thackrah
Kevin Thackrah