New pet store is a bona fide warehouse

At Saturday's grand opening of the Pet Pantry Warehouse, instead of a ribbon cutting, local dogs from town chewed through a string of sausages tied across the opening to the store. The non-traditional "ribbon chewing" is emblematic of the philosophy of the store, where pets take priority.

"Our No. 1 goal is the health and wellness of every pet," said company co-owner Adam Jacobson. With his brother, Ari, the family owns three other Pet Pantry Warehouse locations — in Greenwich, Rye and Larchmont — and another store is set to open Nov. 3 in New Canaan.

The Wilton store is at 3 Godfrey Place, the site of the former Keeler's Hardware. Products run the gamut from "head to tail," according to Mr. Jacobson, and include "accessories such as leashes, collars, toys, bowls, bedding, grates, and a large selection of all-natural treats and holistic and organic pet food."

This includes freezers full of "fresh raw" food, including banana and peanut frozen yogurt and frozen raw bones, among other treats.

"Providing the best and the healthiest foods available is the cornerstone of our concept," said Mr. Jacobson. "We take pride in this. All of our staff members are trained in pet nutrition."

The Jacobson family acquired its first Pet Pantry Warehouse in 1995 in Greenwich. Barry Jacobson, father of Ari and Adam Jacobson, ran the business, and then passed the torch to his sons.

Last year, Pet Pantry Warehouse was named Retailer of the Year by Pet Product News International, a pet industry trade magazine.

Mr. Jacobson attributed the success to the heightened emphasis on nutritionally sound products for pets. "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," he said.

Pet Pantry Warehouse also sponsored an event with Animals in Distress at the Wilton grand opening, offering for adoption cats and kittens that need homes. The company also works with the Good Dog Foundation, a nonprofit pet therapy group, at its other store locations, among other nonprofit organizations.

So far, the response in Wilton has been positive, Mr. Jacobson said. "People have been very receptive," he said. "There are a lot of animal lovers here."

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