PEOPLE | PETS | COMMUNITY

Locally Owned Pet Place Market: Building Relationships

Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, North Bend is home to Twedes Café (of Twin Peaks fame), breathtaking views, and a family-owned pet company that has stayed true to its roots for more than a decade.

Pet Place Market is a cherished North Bend establishment with a staff that’s dedicated to helping people and their pets live their best lives together.

Pet Place Market’s self wash station

“We’re a little different because we’re just outside of suburbia,” explained owner Chris Creighton. “We have a sense of community and regional loyalty. Fifty percent of our customers come to us when their animals have an issue, such as cancer, or no appetite, and we work with them to help find solutions.”

Chris, who was born in Canada and then grew up in New Zealand and Australia, still has an unmistakable accent, but his emphasis is on helping local pet owners. Wendi Beerbower, who has been the store’s manager for four years, has loved to see how passionate people are about what they’re feeding their animals.

“They’re concerned with what they’re feeding them, but they’re also becoming more aware of food sourcing issues,” she explained. “They want to know: where is this food coming from? We love working with NutriSource because they have such great quality control.”

Wendi, who started in the restaurant industry, knows just how important quality control is.

“I’ve seen big companies take over smaller ones, and the quality suffers,” she said.

Pet Place Market is committed to remaining locally, family-owned, and supporting like-minded businesses such as NutriSource. Customers who come to Pet Place Market receive exemplary customer service and their pets enjoy the experience, too.

“When our customers come to the counter, we know what they purchased the last time, whether they’re rotating different kinds of proteins, and what allergy their pet has,” Wendi explained.

“Our staff are always knowledgeable about not only the products that we carry, but about each individual customer. We’re here to greet you and help determine your needs, and we have frequent buyer cards, too; when you buy twelve, you get the thirteenth one free.”

“Fifty percent of our customers have a special request,” said Chris. “They want a special food, or a supplement, and our staff keep track of what each animal needs.”

One of their customers, a Chesapeake Bay retriever named Yoo Hoo, had been suffering from bad allergies before his parents talked to the staff at Pet Place.

“He looked like he’d been in a fire,” Wendi recalled. “He’d been on several prescriptions and even a prescription pet food diet.”

Finally, Wendi suggested that Yoo Hoo’s owners try him on a raw food diet. “This helped him out tremendously,” she recalled, “and they said that they wished they’d gone to us first. It’s our biggest joy to see results like these.”

Jazzy the dog, who often greets customers at the door, has also helped customers have personal breakthroughs.

“Jazzy was visiting with an autistic boy,” Chris recalled, “and his mother had tears in her eyes. She said that her son had never responded this way before.”

Many of the customers at Pet Place enjoy weighing their pets on the scale at the front of the store, and their self-wash station has televisions so customers will never have to miss a favorite sporting event.

“We noticed that people didn’t come in when the Seahawks were playing, but having the televisions here changed that,” Wendi said with a laugh.

With a self-wash, top-quality food, and supplies, Pet Place Market is a one-stop-shop for the parents of small animals, including dogs, cats, reptiles, birds, and fish. Pet Place also gives back to the local community by donating pet food to a local pet food bank. “We also support between twelve and fifteen local nonprofits per year, and we support the local community because we buy everything locally,” Wendi said.

“Our customers expect high quality,” Chris said, “and we’re happy to provide that for them. We want to earn your business. We listen to your needs and your pets’ needs and we treat you well. If you or your pet doesn’t like it, bring it back. You’re not a customer, you’re a relationship.” 

Chris worked in the paper industry for 34 years and moved around a lot, so when he had the opportunity to put down roots in the local community and own a beloved pet store, he jumped at the chance. He believes that the store’s success is due both to the quality of the products that it sells and the people who work for him. “We hire good people, train them well, and treat them well,” he said. “I’m happy to be here, they’re happy to be here, and I know that it’s important to have a local, independently-owned business for our customers.”

Chris was excited to show us the carpeted room adjacent to the store, where he can store lots of product, enabling him to have sufficient stock on hand. The stacks of NutriSource bags were impressive! “NutriSource is one of our most popular foods, so I want to be sure we never run out!” he said.

“NutriSource is very engaged with us and our community; they’re truly customer-service-oriented. Like us, they’re a family company that has stayed true to their roots. They work with small, independent businesses because they’re principled enough to support the local community.”

NutriSource focuses on nutrition and education, offering many hours of instruction to the staff at local pet supply retailers so they can easily understand the products and effectively make recommendations to customers. This helps local shops offer a highly personal and customized service that’s not available with online shopping.

Experience the difference today: Shop locally, support your local community, and provide your pets with superior nutritional options. For more information about NutriSource, visit www.NutriSource.com. For more information about Pet Place Market, visit www.petplacemarket.com.