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Outside the Box

With a professional photography studio on-site, Sniffany’s Pet Boutique expands on the usual product and service offerings for people and their pups.

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Sniffany’s Pet Boutique, Albany, OR

OWNERS: Angie and Joe Scavone; WEBSITE:sniffanyspetboutique.com; OPENED FEATURED STORE: 2018; EMPLOYEES: 1 part-time ; AREA: 4,810 square feet; FACEBOOK: facebook.com/sniffanyspetboutique; INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/sniffanyspetboutique


Angie and Joe Scavone dress up as Scooby Doo’s Velma and Shaggy for Halloween, with Voodoo in the title role.

Angie and Joe Scavone dress up as Scooby Doo’s Velma and Shaggy for Halloween, with Voodoo in the title role.

THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE at Sniffany’s Pet Boutique begins outside. Large windows feature seasonal displays, with store cat Sunny a common sight within. The stunning Maine Coon draws in passersby and even has regular visitors.

“They say, ‘Oh, we’re just here to see Sunny,’” owner Angie Scavone says with a laugh. “Not even a hello for us,” husband and business partner Joe adds.

More often than not, though, the couple builds on their cat’s popularity and turns fans into customers. Helping to do so are an extensive selection of high-quality pet supplies, expert advice on raw feeding, and outside-the-box services such as an in-store portrait photographer, all offered within a beautiful historic building in Albany, OR.

Location, Location, Location

Angie and Joe opened Sniffany’s in 2018 to provide the nutritional information and products they needed themselves as pet parents who breed and show Great Danes.
Looking to switch from homemade to commercial raw food, Angie says, “We would go to places like Petco and other area pet stores, and no one could help us. We decided that there needed to be a place here where people could learn about and buy these foods.”

They started in a 550-square-foot space, expanding then moving to their current location on bustling First Avenue later that year. The business now spans 4,810 square feet in a 1910 building complete with original 14-foot tin ceilings and hardwood floors. Tiffany Blue, of course, serves as the accent color against white walls.

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Sniffany’s has become the go-to place for local raw feeders, who shop in-store or opt for curbside pickup or delivery. It also benefits greatly from surrounding restaurants, even during the pandemic as reduced occupancy indoors as well as outside results in diners with time to fill.

“There is a very popular breakfast place two doors down that doesn’t take reservations. People put their name in and have to wait, so they come here,” Angie says, with Joe adding, “They want to get a toy and a treat for the dog at home.”

With that in mind, the couple offers plenty of both.

“We have one of the biggest toy selections this side of the Mississippi and 36 feet of treat wall,” Joe boasts.

They also smartly wrapped a chew bar around the checkout counter to encourage customers to add just one more thing to purchases for their pets.

Sniffanys-Pet-Boutique cat Sunny

Strike A Pose

Joe worked as a telephone and cable TV lineman for 30 years before joining the pet industry. He has always enjoyed photography as a hobby.

“I started doing weddings and seniors professionally, but found that people can be difficult. Pets are way more fun to take pictures of,” Joe says.

The move to First Avenue allowed him to add a portrait studio to the store. Pet parents can choose from more than 20 backdrops and myriad props in mini or full sessions.

Angie says the service, “has become a keystone to our success and has proven to be one of our larger competitive advantages, separating us from online and big-box retailers.”

Sniffany’s monthly $39.99 subscription Swag Bag includes a mini portrait session during the dog’s birthday month.

“People love that. It’s a $100 value,” she adds. “We promote that a lot.”

Each session includes an 8-by-10 print, and pet parents can order others. This provides an additional revenue stream, and the pickup of prints ensures a return visit.

The studio also allows for a steady stream of unique, professionally shot images for the store’s website and social media pages.

“The gorgeous photos Joe takes of Sunny the Maine Coon, Emma the Doberman, or any other animals that walk through the door, are a key factor in the wild success we have had on Instagram and Facebook,” Angie says.

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Social Studies

While Joe manages the store full-time, with part-time help from team member Ella Chedester, Angie continues her day job of 27 years: X-ray technologist at a local clinic. When not there, she chooses products for the store, communicates with vendors, and handles all social media and marketing. That last role has come naturally to her.

“We create content specifically targeted toward educating and engaging with our target audience. We’ve been so successful in the digital marketing efforts that we’ve been recognized by Facebook and were invited to become one of the founding members of its Leaders Network, which was created to connect the world’s most diverse, pioneering and determined business owners. We are grateful for the opportunity to help other like-minded small-business owners.”

PHOTO GALLERY (6 IMAGES)

Five Cool Things About Sniffany’s Pet Boutique

1. SHOW DOGS: On any given day, customers can meet Emma and Foxy, Angie and Joe’s Dobermans, at the store. The couple uses them as examples of reputably bred dogs so that customers understand what that involves if they do choose to buy. Great Danes Dottie, Lenny and Rebel prefer to stay back at the family farm, where Nigerian Dwarf goats, Highland cows and a Highland bull also live.

2. RAW SCHOOL: Angie and Joe are both Certified Raw Dog Food Nutrition Specialists through Dogs Naturally, and they take advantage of any and all vendor educational opportunities. Because of their personal experience, they also are able to offer nutrition consultations for pregnant/nursing and giant dog breeds in addition to general dog and cat guidance.

3. SWAG BAGS: For each monthly subscription bag, Angie chooses a theme and runs with it. July was Barkin’ Backyard BBQ with Stella & Chewy’s Wild Weenies, P.L.A.Y. Hot Diggity Dog and Corn plush toys, and a Vital Essentials Pig Ear, among other items. She customizes each bag (or box or bin) for the dog’s size, needs, and known likes and dislikes.

4. SPECIAL SESSIONS: Pet parents of senior and hospice pets get a free portrait by Joe.

5. MOVIE NIGHTS: Sniffany’s has a mezzanine where dog-friendly film screenings will start up again once safe to do so. The lineup includes Marmaduke, Homeward Bound and The Doberman Gang as well as educational flicks such as Pet Fooled.

See more photos of Sniffany’s Pet Boutique.

Pamela Mitchell is the Editor-in-Chief of PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Ty the Boston Terrier as her assistant.

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