When Kristine Godfrey opened All Pets Considered in 1992, it was a little store with a big idea.
And 27 years later, the store has remained a bit of an anomaly in the pet store industry: they don’t sell any pets.
“When we first opened, it was very unusual to not sell live animals,” says Allison Schwartz, general manager. “We’ve never sold animals, and we promote people getting pets from rescues or reputable breeders. Pets shouldn’t be an impulse buy.”
Godfrey had dreamed of opening her own pet store as early as high school when she worked for a pet supply company. After working a few years at other jobs, she finally made the leap and opened the first location of All Pets Considered on Lawndale Drive. The shop moved to its current space on Battleground Avenue in 2000, and has since expanded. They opened a second location on High Point Road near Sedgefield last year.
“When she started the store, her mission was to provide pet parents with premium pet nutrition and higher-end pet supplies,” says Schwartz. “She wanted them to have a pet store they could trust. And this was before the days of PetSmart or Petco.”
All Pets Considered carries a wide assortment of premium and natural foods for everything from rabbits to dogs. Shoppers won’t find the usual grocery store brands there, as every line they carry is carefully selected for quality and nutrition.
“We tend to prefer smaller companies because with size, you tend to lose your quality control,” she says. “We also prefer companies that make their own products.”
The stores also offer a variety of natural health aids, including CBD oil for pets, and toys, gear, and even gift items for pet lovers such as T-shirts and yard flags.
Because they don’t sell animals, All Pets Considered partners with a number of local rescues for events to promote animal adoption. In fact, Schwartz also works with a dachshund rescue and came to All Pets Considered first as a customer through her rescue work before joining the staff in 1998.
“The bottom line is how much we love animals,” says Schwartz. “We really want to see a day where many more animals are rescued and aren’t put to sleep in a shelter.”
It’s the love of animals that has fueled the business’ success over the years and allowed them to grow in a retail marketplace that’s increasingly difficult for local, independent stores. That commitment to pets and their owners shows in the products they carry, the knowledge of their staff, and the relationships they build with their customers.
“We frequently say our customers are an extension of our family,” says Schwartz. “When our customers’ pets die, we send sympathy cards and we get upset and sad because they are like losing a family member. Pets are part of the family, and we’re charged with helping keep those family members healthy and happy.”
For more information, visit allpetsconsidered.com.