Source: Waterloo Region Record

By Brent Davis

NEW HAMBURG, ON, September 24, 2015 — Don Pestell walks through the newly-expanded warehouse, a cavernous space lined with racking and skids brimming with bags of product.

It’s the latest addition to the company he founded in 1973, another expansion to the Pestell Group headquarters in New Hamburg that has been growing since 1980.

“I think it’s a very significant day for the company, and for the employees,” he says.

The employees are the ones who deserve the credit, he adds, not him.

“They’re a great bunch of people,” Pestell says. “If you’ve got good employees, your chances of success are great.”

The Pestell Group includes Pestell Minerals & Ingredients, which supplies feed ingredients and other products to the agricultural industry, and Pestell Pet Products, which produces retail goods such as cat litter, animal bedding and pet-friendly ice melter.

Its brand names include Easy Clean, LifeMate and Pet’s Pal. The company also produces a number of private label products for retailers.

The company employs about 125 people.

“Our growth has been fairly steady over the years,” Pestell says. “I would say that’s a very good compliment to how efficient our management is.”

The 65,000-square foot addition doubled the size of a warehouse, packaging and distribution facility, and allowed the company to consolidate much of those activities under one roof, Pestell says.

“We can keep all of our packaging products all in one place,” he says. “It’s more convenient for the customers to pick up all in one location.”

In total, the Hamilton Road property boasts about 200,000 square feet of warehousing and production facilities. The company has a handful of other locations in addition to the main New Hamburg site.

Construction took about 10 months, with another year of planning prior to breaking ground. It’s the third expansion to occur on the property in the past decade.

And the company isn’t done yet. The warehouse addition is part of a three-year, $7-million expansion plan that is expected to include the construction of new offices.

It also would like to double the capacity of the rail siding used to bring raw materials to the plant, Pestell says.

“It’s another step that we have to take in order to keep advancing.”