Lisa Senafe is an animal lover in Chicago who lost more than her fair share of pets to immune disorders. She became dedicated to creating pet food options that are healthier and give pets a better chance to live longer and happier lives. Partnering with her husband, Giovanni, Bentley’s Corner Barkery was founded with the couple handpicking and stocking every product sold.
The business was expanding, and they opened additional Bentley’s Corner Barkery in the Chicago area. The couple was dealing with branding problems, and disappointing growth results had them seeking out Marcus Lemonis and an appearance on CNBC’s The Profit.
Bentley’s Corner Barkery / Bentley’s Pet Stuff on The Profit
The Profit Season 3 Episode 10
Marcus began by visiting Bentley’s Corner Barkery’s flagship store in Chicago. He found the employees to be a happy and likable group who were working hard and enjoying their jobs. The owners were appreciative of their staff, giving out bonuses to employees even when they, as the business owners, were not getting paid.
Though the store itself was cramped and poorly displayed the product line in dark spaces, Bentley’s Corner Barkery saw over $1 million in annual sales, with many of their products reaching better than a 50% profit margin. The average margin settled in at around 35%, which Marcus pointed to as an area that needed improvement with an increase in revenue of about 5% by adding more pet treats options.
Lisa and Giovanni justified the high pricing structures, which worked out to an average of $70 per bag of high quality, healthy pet food. Cheaper brands did not meet their high standards and production guidelines. They realized this approach turned away pet owners looking for better deals. However, it was essential to the Senafes to keep Bentley’s Corner Barkery a specialized, premium quality product.
Bentley’s Corner Barkery Management Shortcomings
Lisa handled the marketing initiatives for Bentley’s Corner Barkery, while Giovanni focused on the finances and numbers side of the business. Marcus discovers there is no unifying sales focus. The store has also been involved in several merger and acquisition deals without the couple having the necessary capital.
The stockroom was an absolute mess. The owners had gone through some personal issues forcing them to store some items from their home in the corner of the stock room, limiting available workspace even further.
Marcus’ next visit to a different location found another cluttered stockroom and a completely different look and feel from the flagship store. Cohesiveness is needed when opening additional localities of a business. The new platform needs to blend seamlessly with the original location to form a single company with identical goals, processes, and procedures.
Managers confided with Marcus about the state of the upper management team at Bentley’s Corner Barkery. There was no structure above the general managers who made the stores run daily. Lisa admitted to Marcus that there is a third partner that is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the business. She also realized that their desire to increase and expand their pet food empire has led to their current circumstances.
Bentley’s Corner Barkery Money Matters
A look at the company’s recent financial activity showed a $2.3 million revenue gain in the first seven months of the fiscal year, but a net loss of $12,000. Giovanni tells Marcus that his expansion plans are based on the day-to-day cash flow and what’s in their checking account as opposed to sound current comprehensive financial data. Their third investor, David, contributed $400,000 for the additional property expenses. Lisa and Giovanni share a salary of less than $70,000.
The Senafe’s son had severe breathing problems that required major surgery to correct. The couple was forced to take out loans on their life insurance policies to pay for the operation, which Marcus acknowledged was noble and respectable. He praised Lisa and Giovanni for their courage, joking that maybe they had a bit too much of it. He tells them he is proud of them and the work they’ve done for their son and their business and said he would return the next day with a deal in hand.
Striking a Deal with Bentley’s Corner Barkery
Marcus meets Lisa, Giovanni, and David at a fancy restaurant in the Windy City. David is as excited as his business partners for property acquisitions he claims would make them a lot of money in the next year and a half. Marcus vehemently disagrees, stressing the team needs to focus on improving and upgrading the locations they currently have.
The Profit host offers $1.7 million, $400,000 of which would go toward an infrastructure with the remaining $1.3 million for property acquisition when the time is right, as determined by Marcus, who would receive 40% equity in exchange, dropping down to 25% when the $1.3 million has been paid off. After receiving assurance that the quality of the product would never drop below Lisa’s incredibly high standards, the deal was struck.
New Deal, Better Leadership
Marcus holds an all-staff meeting at the Glendale location, where he announces that managers will report directly to Giovanni, who will be in charge of store and warehouse operations. Lisa is asked to create a list of possible, less expensive product options that will live up to her quality standards.
At a store manager’s meeting, Giovanni is to set out a plan for the company branding initiatives. Without even working off a prepared agenda, Giovanni’s managers turn on the idea of an acquisition. Giovanni still has a lot to learn about how to run a meeting and to provide effective leadership at the management level.
Giovanni later spearheads the streamlining processes using the Arlington Heights location as a model, and Marcus comes away from being impressed by the progress Giovanni has made in stepping up his managerial duties and responsibilities.
Where Are They Now? Bentley’s Pet Stuff after the Profit
With Marcus’ guidance and financial assistance, Lisa and Giovanni have been able to expand the business while increasing their management and logistics skills to serve their customers and employees better.
Bentley’s Corner Barkery boasted of perfect ratings on online review sites, and their customers and their pets love the large and expanding selection of healthy pet food choices. The owners hold community events promoting healthy pet care for local animals.
Rebranding the business as Bentley’s Pet Stuff helped to increase their market presence and visibility, and expand their customer base.
A successful partnership with Petstuffzoom.com has enabled Bentley’s Pet Stuff to expand to new markets with locations opening from Colorado to South Carolina.
Lisa’s love and devotion to the care of pets motivated her to donate over 100 tons of their high-quality food products to pet shelters, improving the health and extending the lives of pets looking to be adopted by loving and caring families.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Bentley’s Corner Barkery, Bentley’s Pet Stuff, The Profit, or any of their subsidiaries.