Open Farm started in 2014 after Isaac Langleben, Jacqueline Prehogan and Derek Beigleman noticed a gap in the pet food market.
After shopping for healthy, ethically-sourced products for themselves, they wondered why they couldn’t find the same quality options for their beloved pets. “We weren’t able to find food for our pets that met the same standards we were looking for when buying for ourselves,” says Langleben.
After diving deep into the industry to learn about how pet food was made, sourcing ethical ingredients and exploring farms in Canada and the U.S., Langleben and his co-founders formed the right partnerships to ensure they had a sustainable supply chain they could be proud of, and then shipped their first product in Ontario.
A few months later, the company attended a major industry conference in the United States and never looked back. “That’s where we really hit the gas pedal and launched most of the distribution we have today,” says Langleben.
Since the pet food industry is so competitive, Open Farm felt it needed to get ahead of its competitors and take the brand to the U.S. “We decided to just go for it and be the first,” says Langleben. But, with such a large market to cover, Open Farm needed support from EDC.
How EDC helped
EDC’s direct lending program helped Open Farm respond to its rapid success. “For us, a major challenge was supporting our U.S. and Canadian sales growth. EDC has been very, very helpful to us,” says Langleben. Two rounds of financing from EDC helped Open Farm create a powerful marketing strategy and access the working capital it needed to fill large orders.
“As we’ve grown and progressed, EDC has helped support our sales momentum,” says Langleben.
Managing marketing in the U.S. and our working capital and inventory position—that’s really where EDC’s direct lending program was a great support for us.
Today, 80% of Open Farm’s business is in the U.S., and while the company is exploring other markets, such as Europe and Asia, its ultimate goal is to be known as an iconic brand in the pet food industry. As a mission-based company, Open Farm hopes to have a positive impact on the way pet food is made, ensuring that all animals are treated ethically and there’s sustainability throughout its supply chain. “We want to be a globally-recognized brand that’s also driving a lot of positive change in our industry, and beyond,” says Langleben.
EDC service used
In today’s competitive global market, companies with international customers need to have readily available export financing to fill orders, open a foreign office or even provide financing options to customers outside Canada. We offer a variety of solutions, including bank guarantees and loans so that you have the financing you need to grow.