More and more nutritionists are pushing the importance of eating natural, raw foods and avoiding processed products. Megan Kilpatrick, owner of Ma and Paws Bakery in Salt Lake, says the same principles apply to your pets. Her store features “Quality natural, holistic, organic and raw foods, supplements, and fresh bakery treats” along with other supplies for your dogs and cats. These natural treats and products can help your pet with good nutrition and digestion and keep them healthy.
Megan started out as an employee at the shop, coming in on Tuesdays so the owner could have a day off. Soon, people were coming in on Tuesdays specifically to talk to her. When the previous owner approached Megan five years later saying she wanted to retire and would have to close the store, Megan said, “Oh, we can’t close the store; that’s unacceptable.” Not to mention, she joked, she had been taking her dog in with her and “he stole so much stuff that I couldn’t work it off. So I had to buy the store. So I did it to support my dog and cat habit, but now I have a passion for it.”
When I asked how she keeps the business going in a competitive market, Megan said, “My thing is, I am local. I live here, I work here, I spend my money here. Customer service is absolutely at the top. I have good products, but no matter what you’re selling, customer service has to be in the top part of it. What allows me to sleep at night is that Jet.com and Amazon.com can’t compete with my personal customer service and what my crew can provide.”
Because Megan interacts with local customers regularly, she can help them with their specific problems. She explained: “I’m thinking of my clients constantly. Do I see dogs come in with itchy paws or yeasty ears or GI issues? Okay, then I’m going to focus on pockets of products that are going to help those types of kids. Because I see what they come in with. My humans are telling me, this is what I’ve run in to, and I say, you’re the fourth person I’ve talked to that has this problem. Let me show you what I’ve got.”
She can also personally vouch for the quality and freshness of the products she sells: “I order every week; I try to keep the freshest stuff in here. I have an agreement with my suppliers that I don’t have to take anything from them that has less than six months shelf life on it.” She and her staff also stay on top of the latest nutritional studies and information so they can better educate and serve their clients.
All the care and attention to customer service means Ma and Paws has a loyal local customer base. Megan says of her customers, “Hands down they are local. I don’t have very many out of towners. I have tons of repeats and I get referrals from those repeat customers.” So what does the future look like for Ma and Paws? Megan said, “My ultimate goal is absolutely a second store. There is enough business. I know with my personal store, the education and the customer service is what brings people back to me.”
1227 E 3300 S, Salt Lake City. 801 487-3838
Live outside the Salt Lake area? Check out the Animal Park Marketplace in Ogden or The Dog’s Meow in Draper for organic pet food options.