We’re reporting live from PETS+ HQ to bring you results from the 2019 America’s Coolest Stores Contest. It was a tight race this year, with some of the most impressive campaigns we’ve seen yet. We wish every business could win! To narrow the field to first, second and third place, plus nine honorable mentions, a team of editorial staff and independent pet industry judges evaluated the entries, which included mini-essays on a variety of topics, photography and media. The top three winners impressed judges with their ability to transform a traditional pet business model into something truly special in their communities. Let’s get to it! 3rd placeBarker’s Lane 1st place BAR K 2nd place WAG Central HONORABLE MENTIONS BARK, Jacksonville, FL | Dog Krazy, Leesburg, VA | Fetch RI, Richmond, RI | The Modern Paws, Tampa, FL | Mutts & Co., Dublin, OH | The Pet Barber, Houston, TX | Riverfront Pets, Wilmington, DE | Rocky & Maggie’s Pet Boutique and Salon, Houston, TX | Southern Barker, Lexington, KY First place — Bar K in Kansas City, MO. Dogs and humans alike love going to this activity-packed dog park and restaurant that spans 2 acres on the Missouri River’s south bank. Second place — Wag Central in Stratford, CT. This doggie day care and boarding facility also invites pet parents to join in on the fun, with an indoor dog park, training classes and cafe. Third place — Barker’s Lane in Davie, FL. Not only do dogs get the spa experience at this upscale grooming salon, every square foot of space serves as a stylish backdrop for Insta-worthy pet portraits. We hope their stories — as well as the nine Honorable Mentions appearing in upcoming issues — will inspire you to break with tradition yourself. What better way to compete with big-box stores and the internet than to offer what they can’t in new and exciting ways. Bonus: If you do, we just might be reporting about you on these pages next year!