By Richard Lee
Last September, The Pet Pantry Warehouse was named the retailer of the year by Pet Products News International, and now a year later the Greenwich-based company is marking the opening of two more stores.
Pet Pantry, which has stores in Greenwich and Larchmont and Rye, N.Y., will host a grand opening Saturday at 1 p.m., at its newest store at 3 Godfrey Place in Wilton, followed on Nov. 3 by another opening at 21 Grove St., in New Canaan.
Instead of a traditional ribbon cutting for the Wilton grand opening, local canines will chew through a string of sausages draped across the opening of the store.
“That came out of one of our brainstorming sessions. We wanted to do something different,” said Joshua Roth, Pet Pantry vice president, adding that the company was looking for the right opportunity to enter both communities. “This continues our strategy to locate in the types of places we’re looking for — where there are no big-box stores.”
The Wilton store has about six employees, and the New Canaan store will have the same number. The store managers received eight months of training, Roth said.
The Pet Pantry opened last week in a space in Wilton formerly occupied by Keeler’s Hardware store.
“It’s right in the center of town, and there’s lots of traffic,” said Leppert, who welcomed the arrival of the store in the building, which had been vacant about a year. “Any new business coming to Wilton we’re absolutely delighted about.”
The New Canaan store will share space with Weed & Duryea, a lumber, hardware and home improvement retailer which has built an addition and moved much of its merchandise there, freeing space for The Pet Pantry.
The two stores should benefit each other as customers frequent both businesses, said Barry Coleman, retail manager at Weed & Duryea, which has been in New Canaan since 1868.
“It will be a great combination. A lot of people in town have pets and dogs,” he said.
“I believe Pet Pantry will pick up the people who go out of town for their pet needs,” she said.
Started 65 years ago, Pet Pantry specializes in supplies and foods that focus on the health, wellness and nutritional benefits for pets, according to owner Adam Jacobson.
“Our number one goal is the health and wellness of each and every pet,” he said in prepared comments. “Today, pets are seen as an important member of the family, and just as the health, fitness and safety for human family members are a priority, the same holds true for our four-legged family members.”