Recession cant suppress focus, vision and heart.
Thats Patrick Meierings philosophy. And the world has yet to prove it wrong.
Meiering is the founder, chief executive officer and Head Bone Maker at Zukes a Durango-based dog-treat company with international sales.
The Zukes brand has grown by 25 percent each year since the idea was spurred in Meierings garage 15 years ago, and that held true even through the murk of the one of the nations worst recessions.
In fact, Meiering said some of the companys greatest successes came in the thick of the downturn.
The companys revenue in 2009 topped $8 million, and this years growth is expected to match that of years past.
The company founded and funds a nonprofit organization devoted to helping pet owners pay for medical treatment related to cancer. And he recently brought some new investment capital into the business and hired three high-level and well-qualified executives to lead the company to greater successes.
Next year, new flavors and products lines will be developed, and the production of natural pet foods by Zukes also is on the horizon, he said.
Weve kept our nose to the grindstone, stayed focused, worked hard and kept a team spirit, Meiering said. In difficult times, its important to do that.
Smart decisions and a refusal to let the big picture freeze us in our tracks has kept the Zukes organization working on the offensive through tough times, rather than the defensive approach that Meiering said companies can easily fall into.
The company that started with natural energy bars for dogs an idea that came when Meierings dog Zuke collapsed from exhaustion on a mountain hike has grown to include more than 10 product lines, each with its own plethora of flavors and identities.
The companys reach extends well beyond Durango to independently owned pet stores, natural grocers and outdoor product retailers across the U.S., Canada and Asia.