5 Years In Business
The Story So Far
We were on schedule to open in September of 2012 but we were waylaid and eventually opened on December 27th. We missed the Christmas holiday which really upset us. We moved passed it and started the new year enthusiastic about our new Shoppe. We were new to this and there was a steep learning curve. What we thought would sell didn't, what we thought wouldn't sell did. No matter what happened we wanted to be a ethical, socially responsible business and only offer great products from great companies.We we first started out we had far less product to offer and carried approximately 50 different brands. Our food selection was limited as was our treat selection. We started out with a great selection of decorated cookies and fresh baked items which we still offer and is one of our signature areas.
We were so happy that our customers bothered us even before we had finished fitting out our shoppe to inquire when we were opening and all of those customers are still coming. Each month from when we started out we grew and we owe that growth to our customers being great evangelists for our shoppe. They would tell everyone they knew with a dog about us and we appreciate it.
We would get people coming in not realizing it was a barkery for dogs and not a bakery for humans. And the odd request for Coffee, espresso, bagels, sandwiches, cigarettes (at one time), cell phone covers and chargers (don't ask, I have no idea why), and any other number of other non dog related request for products (the best was the one gentleman asking if we sold toilet paper, which is still the most out there request). And we still do. At times we would be asked "What happened to the liquor store, it was just here last week." And now for the past two years its been about what is going into the vacant A&P (We don't know). But with all of that we loved every minute of it. Sorry if we used those people as comedic relief around the dinner table or as amusing stories for our other customers. It adds to the charm of who were are. Plus, come on, there is a sign with 2 Dogs on it and a banner that shouts "COOL STUFF FOR DOGS SOLD HERE" right out front.
More Brands More Products
In the past five years we have added close to 100 more brands (we dropped a couple as well) increased all of what we offer across the board in food, treats, leashes, collars, harnesses, toys, holiday items, and so much more stuff. We started with a great rewards program and added more to it to make it one of the best in the country. We offered tons of specials to our pack members in the past five years as well.
We opened our online shoppe towards the beginning of this year and really started to promote it by the summer. We started out by offering In Store Pick with in the hour and slowly rolled out shipping to the lower 48 and then finally local delivery. Local delivery is the newest convenience we offer for those customers that are pressed for time or are just outside a quick trip to our Shoppe.
In the past five years we have said goodbye to a few of our customers and it has affected us tremendously. We will never feel the loss as much as their families but we do feel a hole in our lives that those happy pups aren't coming in anymore. We never thought about that when we were putting the business together. We hope that we can be a source of support for our families that have lost their precious members.
Being a Good Corporate Citizen
In the past five years we've helped a few rescues with events, donations, donation drives and getting the word out for adoptable puppies. Our customers have really stepped up and helped us support our local rescues each time we asked and we love you for that. And we'll be doing more in the future. We still give 1% of our revenue to rescue and charitable organizations each quarter.
Our Barkery Case is something we are proud of and we will keep it filled with great stuff. We locally source our meat in the past but we are going to change that for the better in the coming year. Though we love locally sourced items we want to make sure that we are promoting good animal stewardship so we will be starting to supply our meats from Certified Humane farms. And hopefully we'll gain our own Certified Humane designation (if we can) in the next couple of years.
We will always look to be unique and try new flavors while keeping our customers most favorites. And we'll still come up with great names for our treats.
In the End
That's the past 5 years in a nutshell. We have loved every minute of it, even those times that we didn't get enough people in to buy stuff, or a distributor missed shipping an important item, or FedEx kept our decorated cookies in their van during the heat of the summer for 3 days, or UPS leaving our frozen yogurt in their warehouse and delivered us yogurt covered cardboard boxes. Such is life running a store. And we are still learning.
5 Years by the Numbers
Members of Ranger and Tucker's Pack
Dogs Rescued at Our Events
Donations Made by Our Pack Members
Free Bags of Food Given to Pack Members
Free Bags of Treats Given to Pack Members
The Next 5 Years
The next 5 years promise to be exciting with the Shoppe. We have so many plans to bring our customers more cool stuff for their dogs.
We have started local next day delivery to Somerset, Hunterdon, and Morris County. And we hope it takes off so we can expand where we can deliver as well as offer delivery every day of the week and even same day delivery.
We plan on doing more Rescue Events in the Spring and Summer.
We plan on putting together and Doggie Festival for the Fall to showcase all our rescue partners while letting our customers come out and have a fun time with tons of treats and other cool things.
Even though we are planning all this great stuff and hopefully growing we will still give you the best advice we can on what your dog will love, nutrition and food, what toys are tough, and everything else we do right now. That will never change.
Plus these two wouldn't allow us to slack off on any of our customer service. It would reflect poorly on them