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These Nine Pet Businesses Round Out The 2021 List of Top 10 America’s Coolest

Each will be profiled in an upcoming issue.




The Seattle Barkery

Dawn and Benjamin Ford started with one doggie treat truck in 2014 and have since added three more plus a brick-and-mortar store. Their cakes are a visual delight, with The Seattle Barkery on track to sell more than 4,000 in 2021. The couple smartly designed the trucks and store to truly suit their customers: The store has a walk-up window for people and pups on the go, and all “locations” have a Treat Chute to deliver delicious morsels right into a dog’s mouth.


The Public Pet

Jordan Lee and Matthew Guevara have created a space where pets and pet nutrition intersect with their love of urban art and culture, fashion and sustainability. A colorful mural by Matthew Tapia adorns an exterior wall, and artists on staff are able to sell on consignment their human and pet products — everything from pins and stickers to masks and T-shirts. Lee says, “We carefully curate our stock so that each category isn’t overly saturated, leaving room for conversation as to why we believe in our product selection.”

Brown Dog Bakery

A dog could visit Brown Dog Bakery every day for three months and try a different treat each time. Anna and Jeffrey Woodcock keep the bulk bins stocked with 30 to 35 biscuit flavors and 66 varieties of chews. Add to that an ever-changing selection of decorated cookies, and it’s a wonder how pet parents can get their dogs to leave. “It’s a lot of options,” Anna says. “I love helping my customers treat their pups!”


Northpoint Pets & Company

Nicole Cammack’s deep knowledge of functional nutrition and food safety have earned her the respect of pet parents, fellow retailers and industry experts alike. Undogmatic, her online journal, covers everything from supplementation advice to aflatoxin contamination, and sends customers to her NorthPoint Pets & Company, which has 15 glass-door freezers filled with products she recommends. Cammack will build on her graduate work in functional nutrition next by pursuing her doctorate.

Paws On Chicon

First-time customers at Paws on Chicon, whether in-store or online, get a handwritten thank you note from Keith Zeiler in the mail, complete with a coupon to return for a free doggy fro-yo. That personal touch begins to build the trust and rapport he and his team are known for. It also has grown sales of the tasty, healthy treat made with goat milk to 600 servings per month. Pups pull their owners toward the store, in fact, even though many of them know a stop at the pet-wash station may come first.

Lucky Dogs

Amy Schiek started Lucky Dogs in 2008 with pet sitting and dog walking, and has since added Bubble Bus mobile grooming and a 1,200-square-foot store, plus husband Pat to oversee business operations. Fixtures came from the space’s previous tenant, a high-end baby boutique, and pair perfectly with graphic black and white wallpaper. Amy says, “Kids love to point out all of the dog breeds they recognize.” The couple are truly part of their community, hosting a Dogs of Skaneateles Facebook group, where they share tips and memes, and take live video walks with their Labs Saoirse and Caoimhe.

The Green K9

Marni Lewis checks a long list when sourcing products for The Green K9: minimally processed, certified humanely raised, and free of dyes or preservatives. Bonus points for recycled and recyclable, sustainable, organic and unique, made and sourced in the U.S. or even locally. She applies similar standards to store materials, with shelving made from building timbers and a front counter featuring wood from whiskey barrels. Even some of her signage is reusable, with chalkboards serving as educational art.


Lucky Dog Pet Grocery & Bakery

Whimsical front windows give those who approach an idea of the customer experience to expect at Lucky Dog Pet Grocery & Bakery. The team, led by mother-daughter duo Jennifer Thomas and Sarah Ybarra, knows how to have fun — whether it be curbside pickups brought out by a human wearing a “cone of shame,” custom birthday cakes complete with a yogurt-and-pencil pet portrait on the box, or the annual Hairy Pawtter celebration. Thanks to this positive attitude and adaptability, the business ended 2020 up 20 percent.

Wagging Tails Pet Resort & Spaw

Located on 6 acres, Wagging Tails Pet Resort & Spaw features 5,000 square feet of turf and the state’s only Ultimate Air Dogs 45-foot saltwater pool and 40-foot dock. Customers travel from all over Connecticut to board their dogs at the facility, and dock diving teams travel from as far as Maine and Maryland to train and compete. During the pandemic, Krista Lofquist introduced “Try It!” This brought in newcomers to the sport who paid $25 for 30 minutes to see if their dog would actually make the leap. More than 30 a day gave it a try in the summer months!



P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

At P.L.A.Y. — Pet Lifestyle & You — toy design is definitely a team effort! Watch PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita and P.L.A.Y.’s Director of Sales Lisa Hisamune as they talk about the toy design process, the fine-tuning that makes each toy so special and why every P.L.A.Y. collection is made with independent retailers top of mind.

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