Great Things in Small Stores
Go Dog Go is a quaint and quintessential single, small, independent pet specialty retailer where cutting-edge nutrition, product quality, a carefully culled selection and customer education reign.
KATHERINE MANOLA, owner of Go Dog Go in Oswego, Ill.
Type of business: brick and mortar; the building is 100+ years old and was a bank in 1911
Years in business: 8
Special services: classes in nutrition and dog walking, pet sitting and vacation care
PPN: What are the top-selling products in your store right now?
KM: The grain-free kibble is still our best-seller, but I’m glad to say that frozen raw and freeze-dried raw are coming on strong.
PPN: What are your favorite products right now?
KM: I believe less is more. I am very pleased with some of the food that is coming out now that does not contain synthetic vitamins. My favorite foods for convenience are the freeze-dried raws; people still have convenience but are feeding their dogs a much better quality food. Moist food [is my favorite] for cats—it’s so imperative that cats and dogs have moisture in their food.
PPN: What are your pet peeves?
KM: Unfortunately, people still believe that kibble keeps their pet’s teeth clean. Not so ...
PPN: What trends have you been keeping your eye on most closely?
KM: It seems like everyone is stepping on the freeze-dried bandwagon, and the big-name food companies are finally catching on about nutrition after 15 years.
PPN: What business challenge(s) are you in the process of tackling?
KM: Being a small business in a big-business world [is challenging]. Unfortunately, even those who speak about shopping small business still go to the big-box stores. We are more educated, we can help with any problems, and we are way ahead of the trends, as we keep up on educating ourselves.
PPN: What business goal are you hoping to achieve this year?
KM: To get our name out there even more than we have and to educate more people about nutrition and the health of their pets. I would love to see more veterinarians get on board with our way of thinking.
PPN: What are you most proud of as a small, independent pet store owner?
KM: I am truly most proud of all the pet parents and pets that we have helped get on the right track with the nutrition and health of their animals.