Apollo Peak entered the Shark Tank in Season 8 with their pet wines such as The Pinot Meow and The ZinfanTail. The all-natural beverages, made from beets and herbs, provide Vitamin C, fiber, potassium, magnesium and iron to your felines and canines.
We interviewed founder and president Brandon Zavala who told us they have sold 75,000 bottles worldwide. So far, they can be found in 200 small wholesalers and boutique shops, but have plans for mass retail expansion.
Here’s what else he told us about…
How the Idea Came About
The original idea started out as a joke, but really made me ponder the idea that this could actually be a viable product. In the early days, myself and my two friends (who would soon become my partners) were just having fun making a beverage for cats that used catnip to make the cats look like they are having a ‘night on the town.’ I’m a cat person and that’s really why we started with cat wines first – but since pretty much everyone in Denver is a dog owner, we realized quickly that we needed to pair our cat wines with an available dog wine too.
Our basic ingredients for the first recipe was water, catnip, pressed beet juice and sea salt. We would soon add in ascorbic acid to prevent oxidation of the beets in the drink and would fine-tune the recipe/bottling to prevent any bacterial growth. Our first prototype took us about four months to master – and another six months to fine-tune. It was a mess of a journey, but we made it happen.
Our bestseller in longevity is The Pinot Meow as it was the flagship beverage that garnered us a lot of attention in early 2016. I would say, however, that the dog beverages are a hit to dogs all over; they just haven’t gotten the immediate reception that the cat wines did. Once a dog owner sees their dog enjoy the beverage and proceed to relax (similar to a glass of fine wine for humans), it’s apparent that they are dog wine fans for life.
Nerves in the ‘Tank’
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous – but more or less I was very anxious to get out there and share the brand I worked so hard to develop. I might make some angry for this statement, but I would personally equate it to having a child and sending them off to preschool for the first time. This business is my child, and sending it off to the sharks was a huge accomplishment.
Other Tank products for pets: