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Pet Dealer Focus: The Sweetest Rewards

Posted: November 25, 2013, 10:25 a.m. EDT

It takes time and dedication, but Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies always strives to do good in the pet world.

By Arden Moore

Claudia and Roy Loomis, co-owners of Phillipsburg, N.J.-based Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies, are all about presenting solutions to hardworking, nonprofit pet groups in their home state and across the country.

"During my very first conversation with Claudia and Roy, I expressed frustration about losing longtime vendors that had made items specific to our needs,” recalled Kris Sutton, senior specialist for The Seeing Eye Inc., a nonprofit based in Morristown, N.J., that trains dogs for the visually impaired. "Within weeks, they had arranged the manufacture of collars specifically for us at a price we could manage. Claudia also worked out a deal for us to [upgrade] the grooming equipment that we provide to our blind students, saving us money and making our people much happier.”

Thanks to their dogged pursuit of aiding community-based shelters, rescues and other pet groups, Cherrybrook is the first pet retailer to be featured in Pet Product News International’s Power in Partnerships column, which will highlight retailers that strive to build mutually beneficial relationships with organizations dedicated to one goal: improving the lives of animals that have not yet found a forever home.

Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies

The husband-wife team combined their corporate consulting expertise and passion for pets when they purchased Cherrybrook in 2005. The couple has maintained an energetic pace since that purchase.

They scrutinize each of the more than 27,000 items Cherrybrook carries, selecting all-natural and holistic foods and treats, proven supplements, top-of-the-line grooming supplies and pet products tested for safety. Cherrybrook employees at their three stores in Bedminster, Garwood and Washington tap their years of experience each time they consult with customers needing answers for specific questions on pet health, nutrition and behavior.

Cherrybrook boasts an impressive, active role in the pet community. The store:
• Spearheaded a food and money drive to benefit local animal shelters impacted by Hurricane Sandy;
• Erects holiday giving trees in all three stores that feature paper ornaments containing specific items of need from local animal shelters and rescue groups. Customers select ornaments and purchase the needed items for the shelters;
• Donates bags of pet food to various shelters;
• Hosts pet adoption events nearly every weekend in at least one store and encourages various shelters and rescue groups in the New Jersey/New York area to bring animals in need of finding homes;
• Partners with the American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life charity walk event;
• Provides donated raffle baskets each month for local organizations and rescues to use in silent auctions and other fundraisers;
• Places a large collection bin in each store to house purchased items for various pet charities;
• Helps several Girl Scout and Brownie troops earn bronze service badges by working with them to collect supplies and donations for service dogs working in Iraq and Afghanistan;
• Hosts Ask the Pet Expert programs that feature informative talks from professional groomers, veterinarians and other pet experts in their stores;
• Offers low-cost vaccinations through a partnership with VIP Pet Care.
The fact is, not a day passes that the team at Cherrybrook isn’t doing a charitable act or motivating pet product manufacturers to join them in various community benefits and events.

For Claudia’s part, she is the busiest—and happiest—that she has ever been.

"We are always looking for new ways to do good in the pet world,” Claudia said. "Sure, it is a lot more work than Roy and I anticipated when we bought Cherrybrook, but dogs have always been a big part of our lives, and we get to make a real positive difference each and every day.”

And for that, groups such as The Seeing Eye are grateful.

"From the puppy raisers to our blind graduates, all of us have benefitted from Cherrybrook’s relationship with The Seeing Eye,” Sutton said.


Bringing the Power of Partnership to Light
Pet Product News International and Halo, Purely for Pets have teamed up to launch the Power in Partnerships profile series, which will spotlight pet retailers making a positive impact on their local and community pet charities, rescue groups and other pet nonprofits.
"We are proud to sponsor the series because we believe it will be a huge benefit to independent pet specialty retailers,” said David Yaskulka, vice president of marketing communications for the Tampa, Fla.-based company. "Halo’s core philosophy is, ‘Be Good, Do Good.’ We focus on just two things: providing quality ingredients (‘Be good’) and giving back to the community (‘Do good’).”
Actress/comedian and Emmy-winning talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is co-owner of Halo and serves as the company’s role model for this dual philosophy.
"She has inspired people around the world to eat better food and feed their pets better food—and to support animal rescue in their own communities,” Yaskulka said.
Each year, in partnership with, Halo donates more than 1.5 million meals of Halo Spot’s Stew to animal shelters, Yaskulka said, adding that the company donates at least five times the national corporate giving average.


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