Colorado cat wine company appears on “Shark Tank,” readies for $1 million year

Denver-based Apollo Peak is not kitten around in with its cat and dog wine business.

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Making dog treats from wasted brewers' grains. The Chewery on Broadway. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) dog treats; the chewery; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Making dog treats from wasted brewers’ grains. The Chewery on Broadway. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Denver-based company that makes wine for cats expects to scratch through its growing competition in 2017 and finish the year with just over $1 million in sales.

Apollo Peak is off to a good start. The company appeared this month on the ABC television program “Shark Tank,” where investors coughed up $100,000 in exchange for a piece of the company.

Earlier this year, Apollo Peak partnered with an artist who raps about cats to release a music video about its can wine. The video shot in Denver features such gems like, “Pull up all the time, we be drinking cat wine” and “Up in Colorado, going full throttle / If I got the cat wine, pourin’ out the bottle.”

And on Wednesday, the company opened The Chewery at the northwest corner of 11th Avenue and Broadway as a spot to sell baked goods and wine for dogs.

“It’s been really tough, to be honest with you,” said Brandon Zavala, Apollo Peak CEO and co-founder. “When we started this company we were three people with an idea who were working other jobs.”

Today, 10-15 people are involved with the Apollo Peak and the company is making Moscato, Pinot Meow and other products out of a facility in Golden. The company’s working to stay on top of orders and compete with others getting in the space, like PetWinery.

“When you start operating something as a joke and you’re having fun with it and then you start really taking it seriously, it really starts to mean something for you,” Zavala said. “For me, it kind of became like my baby. Obviously, it’s still on its training wheels now, and we’re trying to nurse it every step of the way so it doesn’t fall off the tracks.”

The Chewery on Broadway. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) dog treats; the chewery; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
The Chewery on Broadway. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Zavala said his company sold about 75,000 bottles last year and expects to roughly double that number this year.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.