Learn about Patio Pacific, the company behind the Endura Flap
Fast forward to 1991, and under the stewardship of Alan Lethers, the original Thermo Panel was introduced. It was the world's first dual-pane, insulated-glass panel pet door. The Thermo Panel was followed by the Quick Panel that had a spring load height adjustment design, making installation easy to install and remove. In 1997 when a majority of people still used dial-up to access the internet, Alan had the foresight to purchase and create PetDoors.com. He combined the mail-order business and internet business to learn what customers wanted and needed in a pet door. Leaping forward five years, Alan teamed up with Scott Ganaja, a talented mechanical engineer, to design a new, improved height adjustment piece that was incorporated into the Thermo Panel II and Quick Panel II. However, one design challenge remained: the flap.
In 2003, Alan and Scott took years of product knowledge and evaluation to begin the process of designing a pet door to overcome the flaws of the ones available on the market at that time. They determined that flaps were either hard and potentially unsafe or soft but non-insulating and needing frequent replacements. A conclusion was made that the most desirable flap should be soft and flexible plastic to ensure comfort and safety for the pet since they will be opening the pet door with their face. The problem with most common types of soft plastic like vinyl is that it shrinks and hardens when it gets cold. When it needs to keep the cold weather out, it can't because there are gaps around the edge, and magnets cannot hold it closed.
The pet industry was evolving and, by 2004, was ready for a high quality, durable, and a safe flap that sealed and insulated well. The Endura Flap® was engineered and manufactured to be the best pet door flap made and is the basis for the Endura Flap® Pet Door line. Its basic design is a dual-layered polyolefin flap with beveled vertical edges allowing for magnets to expand and contract the sides to seal shut. There is a floating threshold on the bottom to close off the bottom edge of the flap. Additionally, the flap swings freely on a rod eliminating the inflection point, which causes other soft flaps to break and tear. The new Endura Flap® design was incorporated into various models over the next several years:
Wait - what happened in 2007? In 2007 the Endura Flap® high-performance pet doors won Pet Fancy Publications Editor's Choice Award based upon their superior technology and engineering!
Our newest product started in 2010 with a partnership between us and Comfort Design Windows & Doors. It is an Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) with a pet door built in for existing glass doors, sidelights, and windows. It uses the energy-efficient Endura Flap® Pet Door to compliment the dual-pane glass of the IGUs.
Demand for all products was strong, and a new 10,000 square foot headquarters was acquired in San Luis Obispo in 2011. It houses the main office, manufacturing and warehouse facilities. The following year saw part of Patio Pacific's history come full circle. Nick Pullano, our current CEO, was hired to take over the leadership as CEO of Patio Pacific to allow Alan to ease into retirement. When Nick was a student at California Polytechnic State University, he worked at constructing Endura Flap® Pet Doors. His hands-on, in-depth knowledge has contributed to minor improvements in the Endura Flap® Pet Door line and continued refinement of the Customer experience on the websites. The business continues to thrive due to the hard work of long-term employees. In 2015 Scott Mullikin was brought in to manage the sales, and in 2017 Trevor Franchi became the first Chief Operating Officer and continues the Patio Pacific tradition of ensuring the best pet doors made in the world!
We continue to employ promising students from California Polytechnic State University, including talented engineers, graphic designers, writers, and marketing specialists. In 2020, we expanded into larger facilities to better serve our customers and improve the design and function of the Endura Flap® pet door line.
Dogs are such significant parts of our lives! At our office in San Luis Obispo, California, every day is "Bring Your Dog to Work Day!" Not only is this awesome for our dogs and our staff, but it allows us to continually test our products with real puppy expertise.
In closing, we'd be remiss not to mention some of Alan's thoughts on animal welfare. "If you're an individual thinking about a new pet, I ask you to think carefully about the dog or cat you plan to acquire. Be sure you get a size and temperament you can live with for the rest of his life which may well be 18 years or more... go to your local shelter and rescue a pet… Consider rescuing an older pet. They are often housebroken and obedience trained, a huge advantage. They're past the chewing stage. Puppyhood is cute but short. With an older dog you'll see what he'll be for most of his life before you choose. If you must have a purebred dog, look for a rescue group specializing in that breed. Have your pet spayed or neutered. Properly used, a pet door is the single most important accessory you can have for you and your pet."