Yes, Your Dog Can Shop Local TooDecember 9, 2017 5:23 pm
When you walk into the Atherton Farmers’ Market on a Saturday morning, the space is humming with farmers, chefs, neighbors, and—like most of South End—dogs. For Carmen Larreynaga, one of the owners of local pet store Pet Wants CLT, the Atherton Market and other pop-up events are the perfect way to be a part of the community.
“Every weekend we have events. There’s always something going on,” says Larreynaga. “It makes it really easy for us to get in front of people.” And, their dogs!
Although Pet Wants has a storefront on Distribution Street equipped with a “barking lot patio” for dogs, events like the farmers market give them an opportunity to meet more pet owners and talk to them about their high-quality dog food and treats.
“There’s no fillers, no dyes, [in what we make]” says Larreynaga. “It’s all-natural products that go in there and the ingredients are all sourced in the United States and sourced as close to our region as possible.”
Pet Wants offers subscription services for pet food (with free deliveries to customers’ home or work!) so they have an idea of how much food needs to be made. When they make too much, the extra food goes to local animal rescues they’ve partnered with including Charlotte SPCA and North Meck Animal Rescue.
“It helps our rescues, it helps us, and we don’t waste anything,” says Larreynaga.
When Larreynaga left her corporate job two years ago, she knew that she wanted to get into the pet business. Along with connecting with pet owners, she also thought it was important to focus on building connections with the Charlotte community.
“One of my goals was that I really wanted to get to know Charlotte and participate in what the city had going on,” she says. “We get that through events but also through forming relationships with rescues, farmers, and other makers.”
In addition to working with animal rescues, Pet Wants has also teamed up with local farmers and vendors they have met at the Atherton Market. A vendor who makes goat milk soap now has products for cats and dogs at Pet Wants and the store also carries bones that are smoked by a farmer at the market. Larreynaga also works with vendors who makes pet leashes and collars as well as graphic tees for pet lovers.
“It’s been really fun carrying their stuff and supporting them,” says Larreynaga. “Some will do products just for us which is great.”
As Pet Wants celebrates two years in South End, they’re continuing to expand their selection, introduce new people to their products and team up with more local businesses to provide nutritious, local products for furry friends in the Queen City.