Peter Dufall spent 33 years in a successful manufacturing career and was looking for a change. When his plan to start his own manufacturing company didn’t work out, he turned to his other love: dogs.

Dufall recently chatted with The Smart Franchisee Podcast about his extreme career change, his franchise selection process, and how he grew Dogtopia of San Jose in California to a location that is currently operating at full capacity.

He told podcast host Jessica Dhillon that after decades as a VP of operations for factories, “I got more and more disillusioned…I wanted to find a place that treated people nicely, that was more of a family rather than a business.” When he couldn’t find anything in manufacturing that matched his needs, he spent eight years looking at multiple industries and opportunities – and kept coming back to Dogtopia.

“I felt like they were very similar to me. Same background, same focus, similar way of talking. I was very comfortable with them and their values. They were very open and honest, and as they explained things and answered all my questions, it became increasingly clear that I didn’t know what I was doing, but they would help me through it. It seemed like a sensible thing to do rather than just go for it on my own, with their proven track record and having that support group. Based on the initial start-up and the ongoing costs, I thought it wasn’t too unreasonable to offset the risks of going on my own. It was a worthwhile trade-off.”

He was also drawn to the autonomy Dogtopia offers. “They also were clear that it isn’t a stifling model. It’s not like you have to do A, B and C exactly the same way. So, there was also that part of it, where I could still have my own personality within the brand.”

To learn more about how Peter Dufall found success with Dogtopia, listen here.

Interested in applying for a Dogtopia franchise? Get started here.