Pet Age met with Catherine McMullen, owner of One of the Family Pet Supply, and the store’s newest employees, Jennifer Christilles, to learn about the independent pet store’s past and future.
Q When did One of the Family Pet Supply first open and what has been the secret to the store’s success over the years?
A One of the Family Pet Supply opened its doors in December 2010. I probably would have waited until January 2011, but many of our future customers kept stopping by to ask, “Are you open yet?” So with a gentle nudge from my husband, we opened the doors with not all of our product in our POS system. I was a bit nervous but our customers were wonderful and patient. It was a relief to finally be open for business. The secret thus far to our store’s success is having a dedicated staff. I have a great team and feel very fortunate. They are passionate about pets and truly care about the pet’s nutrition and general well-being. We do not sell product just for a sale. We listen to our customers for their special needs and try to accommodate to the best of our ability. We want what is best for your pet.
Q What is the biggest obstacle facing One of the Family Pet Supply and how do you overcome it?
A The biggest obstacle we face is staying competitive with big box stores and e-commerce in pricing of common brand name products. That being said many customers are surprised at just how competitive we are. Other obstacles include choosing what products to bring into the store and which to phase out.
Q What do you offer that leads your first-time shoppers to become loyal customers?
A For our first time customers, we offer personalized service. We help guide them to make the best possible choice for their pets by providing them with information to make an educated choice. This applies to food, treats and other supplies for their pets. That being said, we do the same for all of our customers old and new. We offer discounts to seniors, military as well as savings for frequent buyer programs to many of our brands. In addition, if we do not stock an item that a customer wants, we do our best to special order that product at no added cost. We want them to feel like they are one of the family just like their pets.
Q How do you vet the products that you carry to ensure that your customers are getting the best quality food, treats and other products for their pets?
A When we bring new products into the store, we research their ingredients, where the products are sourced from and where they are made. We try to have the best products available to our customers. While not all products are not equal, we have a range of products to accommodate our customers. With the information that is available, we make the best possible choices for our customers.
Q What do you predict will be the hot trend in 2019?
A The hot trend in 2019 will continue to be frozen raw food for pets. As well as freeze dried food to help transition to raw or supplement dry kibble. In addition, a trend to human-grade ingredients for pet food and treats. Addition of more taurine to dog food might be found. And no surprise CBD products are already flooding the market. Some good some bad and some getting better.