Many pet owners have reported that their furry friends have helped them weather the pandemic better than they might have otherwise.
Our animal companions are like family, and the people and services who help us care for them create an extended community of support. At Gus & Gigi’s Pet Shoppe, and their associated pet rehab and training services, staff take a whole wellness approach to pet care that has its foundations in the care we already take for ourselves.
Owners Tara Kerr and Tim Harrow each have more than 20 years experience in human wellness—Tara in holistic nutrition and Tim in personal training and athletics. Together they bring their passion for keeping people healthy and fit to their pets.
“We both focus on wellness for people, and our pets are part of our family so we wanted to bring in the wellness aspect for our pets,” says Tara. Tim owns Harrow Performance, an athletics training facility in Huntsville that is also used for canine rehabilitation with physiotherapist Stella Barnett of Paws in Motion and training with Rosemary Holtz of Pawsitively Obedient Canines. “We’re not just another pet store.”
The company began with a desire to provide the best nutrition possible for their own pets—and the store’s namesakes—Gus and Gigi.
In their three-and-a-half years in business, Gus & Gigi’s Pet Shoppe has focused on customer care, spending one-on-one time with pet owners to learn about their pets—the breed, activity level, interests, and any challenges they are experiencing—to help them choose the food and accessories that are right for their particular situation. For example, if your dog has skin or digestive issues that might point to a food sensitivity, or just isn’t thriving on a kibble diet, they can provide details about both raw and cooked whole-foods that may help alleviate the problem.
Gus and Gigi’s staff are proud to offer raw and cooked food, healthy kibble, and treats, as well as quality toys and accessories, for both dogs and cats because “our fur family is family,” says Tara.
With every type of food and treat Gus & Gigi’s carries, Tara looks at the quality of the ingredients, how they are sourced, and where they are produced, supporting Canadian suppliers as much as possible, to ensure they can confidently stand behind every product they sell. And they offer those products with the same cost and rewards you’d find in a larger store.
They support other local businesses, too, carrying locally made treats, supplements, and apparel from companies like North Hound Life and Pawsitive Releaf.
And they also look further afield for durable accessories that can’t be found elsewhere within the community like Hurtta, Finnish-made dog gear that is suitable for all types of outdoor adventure.
Almost one year ago, Gus & Gigi’s relocated from their Main Street location to 131 Hwy 60. It wasn’t by choice. A flood forced them to make a quick change, just two weeks after the first pandemic lockdown began. Thanks to community support, dedicated staff, and the help of a landlord that offered a hotspot when they couldn’t get Internet and phone service hooked up quickly, Gus & Gigi’s was only fully closed for three days.
They are grateful to their loyal customers for sticking with them through challenging times. “Huntsville has really stood behind local businesses over the past year, including us,” says Tara. “A big thanks to everyone for their support!” She includes her team—Jody, Brookelyn, and Tim—in those heartfelt thanks.
While people tend to support local out of a desire to support community and locally owned business, there’s data to back up the impact that it has. Studies show that for every $100 spent at a local business, half or more stays within the local community; that’s at least three times more than what remains within the community when that spending goes to a multinational corporation.
And during a pandemic, shopping local can help ensure those businesses you love will still be there in the future.
Watch for great deals in-store during the week of April 5-10 for their one-year anniversary in their new location, as a thanks to the community for its ongoing support.
This is a sponsored story paid for by the featured advertiser