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John Hofbauer
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Warehouse Manager

About John

Two constants during my almost 46 years on this planet have been both pets in my life and earning a living working in the pet business. Growing up we had dogs and cats and fish and hamsters and gerbils. Basically, you name a type of companion animal and we housed and loved them as members of our family. Luckily, we got a great discount on pet food and supplies because our family business was pets! My father took over the family business of supplying pet products to pet stores from my great uncle and grandfather in 1987, by which time I was already working in the business during the summers as the 3rd generation. My great uncle and grandfather opened a pet store in Washington DC in 1949 that eventually grew into one of the countries largest distributors of pet products. As we were in the Nation's Capital, they named the company CAPPET (Capital Pet). That business was in existence until October of 1996 when my father elected to sell the company and retire.


Now out of college and being young and in love and seeking adventure, I moved to San Diego in 1996 and began working for Petco, then the country's second largest chain of pet stores. I figured I had done wholesaling, so why not try retail! Anyway, I became the company's associate buyer for "premium" dog and cat food and the main buyer for dog and cat treats. Petco was in the midst of an intense growth period at that time, with new stores opening seemingly weekly and acquiring regional chains across the country. Three years later I looked up, took a deep breath and realized I was a LONG way away from my family (I went from working daily with my mom and dad to seeing them once a year) so I relocated back to the DC area and began working for......another pet retailer. This time we were a full "animal feed" operation and I was introduced to larger pets like horses! I enjoyed working for this chain of pet stores and was happy to back in the DC area where I was luckily enough to meet my wife Lisa. We got engaged, work was good and then one day out of the blue one of the people I did a lot of business with as a Petco buyer called me to tell me he had accepted a position with a small company in Knoxville, TN that was IN THE PET BUSINESS and did I want to join him. That company was PetSafe and since he was going to be the VP of Sales I figured why not try my hand a being with a pet products manufacturer? I had been a wholesaler and a retailer so why not work with  company that designs and manufactures pet products and sells them to pet wholesalers and retailers! I became a regional sales manager, then a national sales manager and then finally the Director of an operating division of the company. I loved everything about my time at PetSafe except the travel, as I missed my wife and son when I was gone and my wife and I decided to expand our family.


This lead to a move from TN to NC about 10 years ago and the commencement of the only period in my life when I was not in the pet business. We still had pets, and with two young kids our home was filled with dogs and guinea pigs and hamsters and gerbils and fish. But for the first time in my life I had to earn my living outside of the pet business. And after a few years I realized I missed it. Terribly. So I decided to find a company that I thought I could provide some value to, loved pets like my family does, and had fun at work. and thankfully, found that company with Unleashed! Retailing is my favorite business platform in the pet business because every day we get to impact the lives of pets and their people.


Beyond a love of living with and working with pets, I am the proud husband of Lisa and the father of Scott and Lily. Scott is a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill and Lily is a 5th grader. We have two Huskies at home (when we decided to adopt a dog we were told that there were two available and that they were sisters and we just could not separate them so we took them both home). Most of my free time is spent as a soccer dad (Scott played soccer his whole life and Lily now plays travel soccer), but when not driving around the state watching soccer I enjoy live music, golfing and hanging out with my parents (relocated to NC from DC in 2016) and my sister and her family (relocated to NC from Northern California in 2017).

John's Pets

gizmo and nahla
Scott and Pluto
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