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We welcome nine more businesses to the PETS+ America’s Coolest ranks this year. Meet the winners of our annual contest!

ach year, independent pet businesses from across the country apply to become one of PETS+ America’s Coolest. This exemplary body of pet retailers and service providers has grown to 71 since the contest launched six years ago!

We proudly welcome nine more members with the class of 2023.

This year’s winners reflect the indie spirit still strong in our industry. They are a diverse group of pet businesses, from a single location to a chain of six and from retail only to a multi-service operation that even offers veterinary care. The smallest packs its offerings into 1,300 square feet, and the largest spans 54,000 indoors and outside.

One element they all share? Each has achieved success in their own unique and indie way.

And that’s what makes them so darn cool to us and our illustrious group of industry judges.

Below is the list of 2023 PETS+ America’s Coolest winners. We profiled three in our July-August issue: JM Pet Resort, Pupology and CB Pet Market. You can read their profiles by clicking the links below. We’ll be profiling the remaining winners, one each in every issue over the next five issues.

Bridger Animal Nutrition
Bozeman, MT

CB Pet Market
Washington, NJ

Dog River Pet Supplies
Hood River, OR

Fido & Stitch
Grand Rapids, MI

Gangsta Dog
Norfolk, VA

JM Pet Resort
Brockton, MA

Houston, TX

Meadowlake Pet Resort &
Training Center

Houston, TX

Georgetown, TX


Meet the Judges

A panel of industry professionals helps the PETS+ team choose America’s Coolest pet businesses. Get to know the pet pros who decided on 2023’s class.

Here at PETS+, we get to know and love our readers. PETS+wouldn’t exist without you, after all. Pet retailers and service providers contribute to the magazine and website through our Brain Squad. They take part in the PETS+ Product Squad, making our Sample Box program hugely successful. And we can always count on our readers — brand partners included — to talk us up to others in the industry. All of this has helped PETS+ grow and excel since launching in 2017.

All of this to say, we are biased when it comes to our readers. We know many of the businesses who enter America’s Coolest well. With this in mind, we invite five respected members of the pet industry to join us in judging the contest each year. Members of the panel individually score entries in the areas of Exterior, Interior, Online Presence, Marketing, Individuality and Story. Then the judging system combines and ranks the entries. NOTE: When a judge has a personal or professional relationship with an entrant, they either recuse themself from judging that entry or we determine if their score affected ranking and adjust as needed.

Now, let’s meet the 2023 America’s Coolest judges!

Missy Limbeck | Pet Palette Distribution

Limbeck serves as marketing manager for the independent retailer-focused national distributor of premium pet products. Her more than 20-year career in design and marketing ranges from various positions in creative agencies to her own freelance consulting business. Limbeck also has dedicated countless intake, marketing and fostering hours to local animal rescues. In 2017, her love for animals steered her toward the pet industry, blending her passion with her professional expertise. She now spends her days working from home in Woodbury, MN, with her 14-year-old rescue Cockapoo, MaeBee, by her side.

Peter Scott | American Pet Products Association

As president and CEO of APPA, Scott helms the organization in its mission to advance the pet industry by elevating the global pet care community and promoting responsible pet ownership. The seasoned association executive has developed a reputation for leading transformational change, driving product innovation, and building strong cultures of empowerment and accountability that consistently exceed expectations.

Nancy Guinn | Dog Krazy Inc.

Founder and president of Dog Krazy Inc., an America’s Coolest-winning natural pet supply store in Virginia with seven locations, Guinn helps other small businesses succeed through her contributions to PETS+, webinars and podcasts. The Guinn household includes Nancy’s husband and business partner, Chris, and their furry and feathered inspirations Sushi, Pork Wonton, Stirfry Fatguy, Tala, Jimmy Dean and Max.

Lyn M. Falk | Retailworks Inc.

Lyn M. Falk is owner/president of Retailworks Inc., an award-winning design, branding and display firm. She is an international speaker, registered interior designer and consumer behavior specialist. Her Goldendoodle Parker serves as her assistant.

Kat Carbonaro | Astro Loyalty

This longtime supporter of independent pet businesses, including time Carbonaro spent as the manager of her favorite neighborhood pet shop, joined Astro Loyalty in 2016. In her role of marketing manager, she oversees the company’s website, blog, social media and webinars. Carbonaro lives in Hillsborough, NC, with her pup Huxley and kitties MeNow and Mr. Bumbles.


As editor-in-chief of PETS+, Mitchell spends her days deeply entrenched in the world of independent pet businesses. She tells their stories with the help of writers and contributors, the latter including retailers and service providers in the PETS+ Brain Squad. Mitchell works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Ty the Boston Terrier as her assistant.

chris burslem | SMARTWORK MEDIA

Burslem serves as group managing editor at PETS+ parent company SmartWork Media, whose unique focus on helping independent business owners has given them a useful resource, a voice, and a forum to show off just how darn cool they are.