By Karin Krisher
It’s that time again–time for store of the month! This month, we’re featuring a store from across the nation: Long Leash On Life in Albuquerque, New Mexico!
Long Leash opened on June 7, 2006, which means we’re just in time for their sixth anniversary and business is good. Owner/founder Ken Wormser says he had been involved in the pet industry for a bit before he and co-owner Norm Shrout had the idea for the store.
Ken says he wanted to help pets in a broader area, and saw a great need in Albuquerque. So he began the move from San Diego to make Long Leash a reality.
Today, Ken says that the best part about being in the pet industry, and about working at Long Leash is that it’s fun and satisfying. The most fun? The pets that come in every day. The most satisfying? Watching animals experience results once they receive better food and product.
One example of this satisfaction came when a lady wandered into the store with an older dog who was injured, couldn’t walk and had been set for euthanasia, says Ken. She told Norm that she and her dog were not ready to part yet. Norm suggested a few products and within two months, the customer showed up and burst into tears. Of course, Norm thought the dog had passed, but instead, the customer was crying with gratefulness as she thanked Norm for saving her dog’s life. Since leaving Long Leash, he was healthier than he had been before his injuries.
These types of experiences make the pressures of owning a business totally worthwhile. But Ken says there are some things that he would like to see change. In the pet industry, manufacturing is a tough job. Because Long Leash works with over 100 vendors (and a ton of products), Ken’s seen that difficulty first-hand. He’s noticed that often, manufacturers aren’t able to provide transparency in labeling or stability in the supply and demand.
A fantastic solution to this problem is customer feedback and its ability to influence employee education. If retailers and manufacturers are in close contact, the manufacturers will need to be open to hearing the retailers’ needs and changing their production and labeling processes accordingly. Opening up communication channels can accomplish this, so that all retailers might realize the opportunity to help animals on as large a scale as Ken has.
As for the store’s relationship with Pet Naturals, Ken’s not complaining! Norm had been involved with another FoodScience Corporation division and decided to check out our retail line; both Ken and Norm were impressed with the products and the results.
Ken’s two dogs, Daisy and Pica, are also Pet Naturals fans. Their favorite product? Hairball!
Because of their fun-loving attitude and commitment to pet health in every area, Long Leash On Life deserves the title of Pet Naturals’ Store of the Month. If you’re ever in Albuquerque, stop by and see why Norm and Ken’s business has everybody barking!