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Azalea Capital Invests in Ark Naturals

Azalea Capital is pleased to announce its recent investment in Ark Naturals (“Ark”), headquartered in Naples, FL.  Ark was founded in 1996 by Jay and Susan Weiss and was an early pioneer in the natural pet health category. Ark markets a full line of remedy, health and lifestyle products for dogs and cats under the Ark Naturals and Gray Muzzle Brands.  All products are manufactured in the USA in FDA OTC facilities and / or USDA APFIS facilities.

Partnering with Azalea in this investment are the Founders, Susan and Jay Weiss, Pet Executive Michael Stoeckle, and the 4612 Group, an Atlanta based investor in private companies who is backed in their investments by a number of family offices.   Mr. Stoeckle joined Ark as President and CEO, while his former colleague, Michelle Higdon, has joined the Ark board. Susan and Jay Weiss will continue with the Company, with Jay Weiss also serving on the Board.   According to Mr. Stoeckle, “We were attracted to Ark due to its history of providing high quality, products that help pets live healthy lives to the natural and pet specialty channels.   Building on the foundation developed by Susan and Jay Weiss, we will continue to invest in people, products and marketing to expand the awareness and availability of Ark’s superior product offerings beyond its devoted customer base.”

Mr. Stoeckle has 30 years of experience managing branded consumer packaged goods companies. He is the former VP of Corporate Strategy and VP of Sales and Marketing for Solid Gold Pet Food, a premium pet food company. Prior to Solid Gold, Mr. Stoeckle was VP of Sales for Waggin’ Train, a division of Nestle-Purina that produced a line of natural dog treats.   Immediately prior to joining Ark, he was VP of Sales and Marketing for Spray and Forget, an outdoor cleaning products company. Michelle Higdon has 20 years of experience in the consumer goods market and currently serves as the CEO of Jones Naturals, a portfolio investment of Azalea headquartered in Rockford, IL, that manufactures and markets an extensive line of U.S. sourced, all-natural pet treats. Previously, Ms. Higdon was the CEO of Solid Gold Pet Food, as well as the President and COO of Waggin’ Train, which was acquired by Nestle-Purina in 2010.

For more information about Azalea Capital, please contact Ben Wallace, Director of Business Development, at (864) 235-0201 or

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