Ohio-Based Pet Food Brands Team with Investors to Form BrightPet Nutrition Group

Ohio-Based Pet Food Brands Team with Investors to Form BrightPet Nutrition Group Lisbon, OH, April 28, 2016 — Ohio-based Blackwood, Adirondack and Makin’ Trax pet food brands and contract food manufacturers Ohio Pet Foods (“OPF”) and Southern Tier Pet Nutrition (“STPN”) recently partnered with Philadelphia private investment firm Graham Partners to create BrightPet Nutrition Group (“BrightPet”).

This new partnership will make BrightPet a leading developer and manufacturer of premium and super-premium pet foods and treats, serving U.S. and international markets. BrightPet leadership is already exploring growth opportunities within the quality-driven segments of the pet market, including product line extensions, facility enhancements and additional acquisitions. One of the few USDA-certified organic pet food and treat producers in the U.S., BrightPet will export to international markets, as well as serve U.S. retailers and consumers.

The Golladay family — third generation founders of Blackwood, Adirondack and Makin’ Trax — sees the formation of BrightPet as an opportunity to share their quality recipes with new retail audiences — to elevate the standards of foods and treats industry-wide.    

“Our family’s commitment to quality pet food dates back generations,” says Matthew Golladay, former Blackwood Vice President and President of the BrightPet Nutrition Group.

BrightPet is our opportunity to meet the growing demand for premium and super-premium foods and treats. More than ever before, pet parents want the best for their four-pawed family members. BrightPet will deliver the quality pet foods and treats discerning consumers and retailers have come to expect from us. We’re committed to maintaining that unique trust.
— Matthew Golladay

Joe Heinmiller, Principal at Graham Partners, adds, “We are excited about the steady growth we’ve seen in the pet products industry. We look forward to working with the Golladay family to implement operational improvements, increase capacity and drive growth.” 



Blackwood Pet Food recipes are handcrafted in small batches at a family-owned facility in Ohio because healthy, happy pets make their families happy. At the heart of Blackwood’s success is  a time-honored commitment to slow cooking. Perfected over the course of more than 20 years, this proud family tradition creates recipes that are appetizing as well as easy for pets to digest. Adirondack premium, natural recipes are formulated for peak pet performance at all life stages. Makin’ Trax recipes are made without wheat or soy for pets that work hard for their families. 


Since 1978, Ohio Pet Foods (OPF) has been contract manufacturing high quality pet foods for both domestic and international customers. OPF specializes in custom formulation and private label (OEM) pet foods. OPF employs a unique batching system capable of handling an unlimited number of raw materials, with an on-hand inventory of more than150 different ingredients. OPF is proud to uphold the highest of quality and safety standards. 



Southern Tier Pet Nutrition is one of the leading contract manufacturers of premium holistic, natural and organic pet foods. Recent rapid growth and facility investment has led to an expanded marketplace, allowing Southern Tier to export to more than 20 countries around the world. The company facility has been a pet food manufacturing site for nearly a century.



Graham Partners is a private investment firm focused on investing in businesses with advanced manufacturing technologies, innovative product development capabilities and strong growth potential. Investors include university endowments, charitable foundations, financial institutions and private investors. Founded in 1988, Graham Partners targets companies with EBITDA between $5 million and $50 million, and will invest in smaller companies to the extent they complement one or more other holdings.