Choppers Holisitic Pet Foods has been locally owned and operated for six years. 

By Sarah Bous-Leslie

You can tell just by sitting down with him that he’s uncomfortable being in the spotlight, but that’s exactly where Bruce Baurichter deserves to be. Baurichter, who owns Chopper’s Holistic Pet Foods with his wife Gail, is both humble and heartfelt when he discusses his journey toward becoming a local business owner. “I’m not sure what to say,” he grins, “my wife is better at this sort of thing.” Bruce, who recently retired from the fire department, recounted a conversation where someone asked if he had ever saved anyone’s life. “No,” he paused, “I don’t think so.” He tells me how his wife piped up to remind him about several times he’d done just that!

Of course, I promised to take it easy on him, and as the conversation turned towards the store, it flowed easily. His pride and love for what he does was inspiring. “I fell into this gig quite by accident,” he recounted. “My cat Alice was around 15 years old. She was a mess: she had hair loss and no appetite. She refused to eat cat food, so I was trying to tempt her with dog food. I’d tried all the treatments and foods my vet had recommended, and nothing was working. A friend noticed I was buying pet food from the grocery store, and clued me in to the superior products available at locally owned pet supply stores. It was miraculous how she improved with good nutrition. It extended her life.”

That experience with Alice inspired Bruce to create Choppers Holisitic Pet Foods, which has been locally owned and operated for six years. Bruce wanted to help other pet parents provide their pets with the best quality of life possible by providing exceptional customer service and top-quality products like Nutri Source. Choppers loves working with Nutri Source to support our community and our animal family members.

“This company doesn’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk!” Bruce said.

“When they say they are here to support us local retailers, they mean it. The fact that they pulled out of when it was purchased by a big box store, tells me everything that I need to know. Nutri Source is taking a risk, and putting their future at stake to support us local shops.

“I truly love dealing with KLN/Nutri Source. They’re a family-owned business that deeply cares about their ethics and how they are contributing to our country, local economies, and the health of our furry family members. Do you know that they have never had a recall? They serve every batch to their own pets; that’s the faith that they have in their products.”

When you shop locally, not only does the local infrastructure receive more support; local nonprofits do, too. Local businesses are more likely to donate to local nonprofit organizations than national stores are. Choppers donates every year to local organizations like Puget Sound Pet Food Bank, the Tacoma Symphony, Northwest Spay and Neuter Clinic, boxer rescues, Kindred Souls Rescue, and Old Dog Haven.

Bruce gave me a tour of the shop, where I got to meet Winston, one of the shop dogs, and Betty the store kitty. As we perused the shelves, which were brightly filled with locally made products and treats, customers came in and were cheerfully greeted by the staff. One woman laughed, saying, “I can’t remember what I bought last time, but he loved it!” Kattie, Bruce’s daughter and General Manager of the store, quickly grabbed a card from behind the register and showed the customer the type of food she last purchased.

Betty the store kitty

“We have highly knowledgeable staff here, many of whom have been working here for many years,” Kattie said, “If a customer has a question, or needs advice on nutrition, we are ready to guide them through the many options for their pets.”

It’s important to the Baurichters– to carry only the best products for their customers, including Nutri Source and Pure Vita. As I admired the full aisle of Nutri Source/Pure Vita foods, Bruce explained just how much of a difference these products have made for his customers’ animal family members. One of his friends owns a Bull Mastiff who had suffered from (how to put this delicately? Explosive diarrhea?) for years. After Bruce recommended Nutri Source foods with probiotics, the tummy troubles cleared up. “Another appreciative customer for life,” Bruce laughed.

There’s a reason why Nutri Source is nationally known as a leader in pet nutrition – and there’s a reason why local businesses can unhesitatingly recommend these products to their customers. And when a national leader in pet nutrition chooses partnerships over profits and works closely with small, locally owned businesses, everyone wins.

We can’t all be heroes that save lives with the fire department, but we all have the power to impact our communities by shopping locally and providing healthy options to our furry family members.

For more information about Choppers Holistic Pet Foods, visit them at 612 Regents Blvd in Fircrest, Washington, call them at (253) 566-4553, and follow them on Facebook!