CLEAR WATER, Wis. (WEAU) – When you walk through the doors of Pet Food Plus in Eau Claire, you’re likely to meet some four-legged customers.
“Well-mannered pets are always welcome,” said owner Kirk Sorensen.
Pet Food Plus got its start in 1989. About 10 years later, Kirk Sorensen and his wife Stephanie came on board.
“I have to blame my wife for it mostly. She had a friend who was managing Pet Food Plus at the time. She was leaving, and they needed a new manager. I was looking for a new job, and I said I’d be willing to manage this place for a year, and see how it goes and see if it looks like a good fit for me. It’s been 23 years now,” said Kirk Sorensen.
The Sorensens bought Pet Food Plus in 2001. Then in July 2016, the store moved to its current location on East Hamilton Avenue in Eau Claire. From food to toys to accessories, even a self-serve dog wash, it’s all about pets of all kinds at Pet Food Plus.
“We treat pets like family. So, everything is about the animals. It’s about giving them the best products and the best services that you can,” said Dori Friedemann.
Besides a happy pet, there’s an added bonus of supporting a locally owned and operated business.
“What people spend is going back to the community,” said Friedemann.
Dori Friedemann started as a sales associate in 2009 when she was in college before working her way up to marketing manager. She says she appreciates what it means to work and live in the Chippewa Valley.
“I see customers when I’m at the grocery store, or they recognize me, or I see them when I’m shopping. I say, ‘Hi.’ They say, ‘Hi.’ How’s your dog?”
Friedemann and Sorensen say they’re two of the lucky ones, genuinely enjoying their jobs.
“You know that saying if you do what you love. I just enjoy everyday coming in talking to people, seeing the customers. We see customers day in and day out. They’re on multiple pets they’ve had,” said Sorensen.
“The easiest part is just talking with people and getting to know their animals and watching their animals grow up. You almost become part of their family, and you just know them so well,” said Friedemann.
Don’t be offended if the employees are more excited to see your pet than you.
“I can tell you the dog’s names, not necessarily the owners,” said the marketing manager.
If you’re in search of cuteness…
“Come in on a Saturday, and there’s people all over with dogs, and they’re giving them a bath and finding them a treat and a new toy,” said owner Kirk Sorensen.
Every tail has a reason to wag at Pet Food Plus.
Pet Food Plus is hoping to have a customer appreciation event in July to celebrate six years at the East Hamilton Avenue location.
The Sorensens also own and operate Paws and Claws Total Dog in Eau Claire. That business offers pet daycare, boarding and grooming.
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