Claudia poses with shop dogs Rory and Brodie.
Nestled in the small coastal city of Rye, New York lies a truly special dog and cat supply store, All Paws Gourmet. The store originally opened in 2002 and was purchased five years later by Claudia Baker, after a chance meeting with the owner. “When I purchased All Paws Gourmet in October of 2007, I handpicked everything that was going to be in it,” said Claudia. “I wanted all the products to be made in the USA and for the average person to be able to shop here.” We’d say Claudia has accomplished that and much more! Today, the 1,100 square foot store offers everything from food to treats and toys for dogs and cats, and fabulous gift items for all pet lovers.
For your convenience, All Paws Gourmet is open for curbside pickup.
While All Paws Gourmet is wildly popular with locals, customers from Long Island to Connecticut make the trip to glean Claudia’s knowledge of all things pets. In addition to extensive knowledge of nutrition and a great selection of healthy foods, All Paws Gourmet is known for its wide variety of accessories including Up Country’s collar and leashes for cats and dogs. “People say I have the largest display and widest design variety of collars they’ve ever seen.”
So many collars, there is style and size for every dog!
What are All Paws Gourmet's most popular designs, you ask? “The Pawprint Stripe and Big Bones have been very popular for quite some time. For summer, people love the Whale and Anchors Aweigh designs, and around the holidays our Christmas patterns are a big hit.” With such a great local presence and tight-knit community that surrounds them, All Paws Gourmet is always giving back. Whether it be through financial contributions to local rescues or occasional adoption days hosted at the store, Claudia is always looking out for furry friends in need. Claudia's favorite part of being in the pet industry? “Aside from being in love and beyond passionate about animals, I feel a great connection to dog people and fully believe that if you love animals then you are a good person. When pet people come into the store, I enjoy contributing to the health and welfare of their beloved family members. Our customers have become family.”
For more on All Paws Gourmet, we encourage you to visit the store’s new website www.allpawsgourmetpetstore.com. And, be sure to stop by in person to say hi to shop dogs Rory and Brodie!
So many Up Country collars!
Are you looking for a one-stop-shop for everything from lawn and garden to pet, equine, livestock, and feed products? Insert The Mill of Bel Air here. The Mill of Bel Air, also known as The Mill's central location among their six other stores, is recognized for outstanding customer service specializing in the finest pet food, farm animal feed, home and garden supplies, and more.
The Mill of Bel Air, originally called Reckord Mill, opened in 1886 by Henry Reckord. The business was purchased by H. Smith Walter in 1957, who then sold it in 1986 to his grandson, Henry Holloway. Henry took over the family-owned business, renamed it The Mill of Bel Air, renovated the store, and enlarged the retail aspect with his wife Brenda, and their children. We had the opportunity to speak to Cassie Holloway, Pet Products Manager, and daughter of Henry and Brenda, about all things pets!
Hard at work at the Mill of Bel Air.
Today, the Mill of Bel Air offers a large pet section stocked with dog and cat, small animal, bird, and equine supplies. They even have a mini pig and pigeon food area. Owners and their pets (dogs, goats, rats, etc.) can come in to purchase anything from necessities like high-quality food and treats, to unique toys, and fashionable accessories. “Since 2017, The Mill of Bel Air has been carrying Up Country after learning about the company from different trade shows and expos, including the Global Pet Expo” said Cassie. “Our customers are always excited about fun, new Up Country designs, and especially those that are season-specific.”
Aside from the abundance of high-quality products and expertly trained retail staff, The Mill of Bel Air also offers a wealth of pet-friendly events. “In December, we have pictures with Santa at all of our stores, and we always encourage our customers to bring in their pets. In select stores, we also offer dog and puppy training classes, donation days for local pet pantries and rescue organizations, National Pet Day celebrations, and classes that are specific to your pets. Our last, “create your own snuffle mat,” was a huge hit!”
When we asked Cassie what her favorite part of the pet business is, her response was; “being able to help customers find a solution to a problem they are experiencing. Whether that be a dog food that doesn't irritate their pup's belly, a toy that is durable enough to withstand those sharp puppy teeth, or even an energized dog who needs the correct walking accessory, I am always happy to help. I once had a customer express her frustration in teaching her pup down. I showed her a quick tip and it worked like magic. We were both happy with the outcome, and that's what it is all about.”
The next time you are in any of the store's six Maryland locations and one Pennsylvania location, be sure to stop in, shop for your furry friend, and see all the reasons The Mill was voted “Best in Harford County” for over two years in a row.
Martinique, owner of Redbones Dog Bakery and Boutique.
“Making dogs happy one tail at a time” is the slogan for the wildly popular dog bakery and boutique called Redbones. Redbones Dog Bakery and Boutique is located on Amelia Island, Florida, a popular holiday destination known for its luxury hotels, golf courses and beautiful beaches. The boutique was established in 1999, and it wasn’t until Martinique Lemke walked into Redbones a few years later, that the bakery truly expanded into what it is today. “I got into the pet industry by chance,” said Martinique. “I was a chef for the Ritz Carlton and decided to take a break from cooking and joined the Redbones team to help expand the bakery in 2004. I then went on to buy the store in 2006.”
Holiday baking in full swing at Redbones.
Today, Redbones offers its customers over 35 varieties of fresh homemade dog treats baked daily in our kitchen, as well as a wide variety of collars and leads, cozy beds, safe shampoos, and spa products. “We have been selling Up Country products for over 16 years. In addition to Up Country collars and leads, we also sell cookie jars, sweaters, rain jackets, toys, futons, and recently we added to custom Amelia Island collars. Beach, turtles, mermaids, donuts, and custom Redbones collars are all amongst the most popular designs. No other brands can compare!”
With a boutique and bakery with everything for your pet, what else could you ask for? Maybe a craft beer bar where you can bring your dog and enjoy a yummy craft beer, wine, or champagne? Redbones checked that item off the list in 2017, and it’s been a massive hit for locals and visitors alike. “Our experience is that we are a destination. People from all over the country come to Redbones daily, monthly, seasonal, or yearly. We want them to feel welcome and a part of our family.”
Bring home a custom Amelia Island dog collar for your best friend!
Redbones is also a proud supporter of surrounding area shelters, including the Nassau Humane Society, Cats Angels, Friends of Animals in Nassau, Nassau County Animal Services, Pit Sisters, and Chow Chow Rescue. “We have monthly fundraisers to help raise money for spay and neuter and heartworm treatment, and we actively promote adoption and saving our local animals.
When we asked Martinique her favorite part of the pet business, her response; “when you love animals, you are a happy person, and you are a good person. You can tell a lot about a person on how they treat animals. When you treat animals with respect, then most likely, you will treat humans with respect. We love what we do, and we love offering the very best products.”
Planes, trains, automobiles…or Santa’s sleigh? No matter what mode of travel you pick this holiday season, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re taking your dog along for the ride. Here are some helpful tips and “tricks” to keep your furry family member happy and safe during the
busiest most wonderful time of the year!
Most travelers opt for hitting the road during the holidays. With an estimated 55 million travelers driving to their destination this Thanksgiving, and another 97 million during this Christmas season, that’s a lot of humans on the road! This Thanksgiving, we have some major storms throwing us a curveball too, so plan accordingly and give yourself the gift of time. If traveling by car, be sure to leave wiggle room in your schedule to make pitstops for your dog’s bathroom and playtime needs. Make a list of dog parks along your route, and bring along the essentials like waste bags, water, food, treats, bowls, and a sturdy collar/harness and leash. Keeping an eye on your dog when in a strange territory is a must since they will be excited by the new sights and smells. Also, if you happen to breakdown in inclement weather, make sure you have plenty of blankets for your pet, and a suitable coat so he can look fly in his holiday best and be practical at the same time.
This year, major airlines have toughened their policies on pet and service animals because of the increase in misbehaved comfort animals. Check ahead with your particular airline for their current rules. Generally speaking, dogs under 20 lbs. can travel in the cabin with you in an approved carrier under the seat in front of you. Dogs weighing more than 20 lbs. must be crated and ride below in the cargo section. Also, unless you are traveling with a documented service animal, there will be a fee of around $75-$150 round trip. A few other considerations when traveling by plane include registering your animal ahead of time and pre-flight paperwork, checking in at the desk vs. online, and picking up your pet at an alternative location if he flies in the cargo hold.
Bring some treats for your dog to choo-choo! Er, chew, chew! Traveling by train is a wonderful way to get from Point A to Point B. Much like planes, animals under 20 lbs. are welcomed aboard inside a carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you. Trains have a few specific rules that need to be adhered to for a smooth ride. These include one pet per person, the train ride must be 7 hours or less, the cost is approximately $25, and your pet must be at least 2 months old. There are other restrictions as well for traveling with an animal on weekends and holidays. So, don’t get left at the station unprepared; check ahead first to make sure you’re on the right track.
If you are lucky enough to travel by Santa’s Sleigh, we have absolutely no advice for you except to have fun and that we’re super jealous. Please tell the big guy that the employees at Up Country and their pets were extra good this year!
PLACES TO STAY
If you are fortunate to have a host that will accommodate your pet, then get them a meaningful hostess gift! Also, bring your pet’s essentials and respect the boundaries of your host’s home and yard. A travel gate is easy to set-up and will keep your pet in the areas deemed appropriate by your host. Travel crates are great too in creating a safe space for your dog amongst the holiday hustle and bustle. This Calm Carrier is pretty cool. If you have to make other accommodations, here’s a great search tool for pet-friendly hotels in the area where you’ll be staying: https://www.expedia.com/g/rg/pet-friendly-hotels.
Here’s a helpful packing list with links to make sure your trip is smooth sailing:
- Holiday Themed Collars and Leads
- Cozy Sweaters
- Pet Futon
- Host/Hostess Gift
- Portable Monitor
- Travel Gate
- Travel Crate
- Travel Water Bowl
As lifelong pet lovers and with a father in the pet industry, Amy Bearg and her two brothers Mitchell and Larry continued the legacy and opened Bow Wow Meow in 1989. Before the store’s opening, Amy and her brothers noticed the lack of upscale pet boutiques during their travels and decided to close the gap in the market. Bow Wow Meow opened in San Carlos first, followed by stores in San Francisco and Menlo Park. Today, the trio of siblings is celebrating 30 years of being a big part of the community and providing the very best for their customer’s beloved furry family members.
Inside each Bow Wow Meow location, you’ll notice a strong feeling of community and an abundance of high-quality products. Each location caters to customers with different needs depending on their area, with a varying selection of products. Those in Menlo Park and San Carlos with more space and yards require different supplies from those customers shopping at the city store. Above all, each store offers pet grooming and a variety of products for both cats and dogs, including food, treats, collars, and leashes, with an all-around focus on nutrition and well-being.
Bow Wow Meow’s three locations have been carrying Up Country since they opened their doors 30 years ago. “We try and change up the designs we offer frequently; however, we see the Bee, Daisy, and Bella Floral designs win the popularity contest most often.” Bee, Daisy, and Bella Floral designs win the popularity contest most often.”
In addition to the quality of the overall products, you know you'll be greeted by a familiar face each time as the majority of Bow Wow Meow’s staff have been employees for 20+ years. “Our employees have become family to us,” says Store Manager and Buyer Amy.
When Bow Wow Meow's staff isn't helping customers or adding new products to the store, they are hosting local events within the community that support rescue pups as well as homeless pets in need. If there is a local concert or festival, you’ll be sure to see Bow Wow Meow’s name on the sponsor list.
When we asked Amy what she loved about being part of the pet industry, she responded, “What don’t I love? I love being part of the community of like-minded, pet loving individuals. It’s a great place to be. Our customers truly care about animals and being part of the greater pet community, as well as the local happenings that surround us.”
If you are in the San Carlos, San Francisco, or Menlo Park area, be sure to stop by and shop the very best at Bow Wow Meow. It’s no surprise that the passion for all things pets stayed in the family!