Torsten Toeller, the founder and sole owner of Fressnapf Tiernahrungs GmbH, completed an apprenticeship in retailing after obtaining his secondary school leaving certificate, and went on to do a degree in the subject. After a business trip to the US, he developed the idea of a store selling pet food and accessories on the German market. At the age of 24 he opened the first Fressnapf store, in Erkelenz, followed in 1992 by the first franchise outlet. Fressnapf is currently the leader in the pet supplies market, with around 1,400 stores in 12 European countries, more than 10,000 employees and revenue of over EUR 1.8 billion. In 2012 Mr Toeller set up Devario Invest GmbH, a company that develops and finances real estate projects. Two years later he established the GENUI private equity fund, which provides companies with growth capital.