Itâ€™s All About Pet Nutrition
By Jenny Pimsaguan
Owner, Natural Pet Hawai’i
Tell us about your business. Our whole mission is pet nutrition. We do sell everything else here at our place in Puhi because we’re a pet store and we want to provide other products. But we have no chemicals in the store; no by-products – everything is human grade. You will notice the difference in your pet’s health.
What sets your business apart? We are the only natural pet store on Island. We have herbal remedies, raw and frozen foods. There is no other business here like us. And we really try to be consistent with the products we have. Hardly anybody in Hawai’i carries our products.
How has business been so far? We’ve had so many people switching foods. Kaua’i has been so great to us. We had a big grand opening on Halloween and had more than 200 people show up. The support has been amazing. We definitely filled a niche.
How did you get started in this business? The food on the market is insane – it’s crazy what goes into pet food nowadays. And when you feel so passionately about it, you want to share. That’s really been most of what we’ve been doing here is educating people, because once they find out and we let them know what they’ve been feeding their pets, they’re shocked and are more than willing to give our products a try.
What are people feeding their pets when they buy commercial products? Euthanized cats and dogs. It’s called rendered meat, which could mean anything including cats and dogs, beaks and road kill. The technical term is byproducts. There are no regulations in the pet food industry. All the foods that we carry are actual pet food companies, whereas big brands owned by corporations, they dump all their trash into the pet food instead of throwing it away because it’s cheaper, plus they make money off it.
What motivates you to get up and go to work? My customers, and knowing that we’re completely changing pets’lives. People are super-stoked when they come in here. Most people don’t know the foods, and it’s all about education. A lot of people had been shipping our products in for years before we opened.
What is your motto for doing business? For the health of your animal. We also guarantee everything. If your pet doesn’t like it, we take it back. Nutrition is the main thing; everything else is the fun stuff.
What do you find most challenging about your business? Shipping and the delay in getting things here. You’re going to run out, but then you have to wait three weeks for it to get here; it can be a problem. But it’s pretty on track now.
How do you measure success? Return customers.
If people are happy and coming back, then I feel successful.
What are your goals for the future? If we’re super-successful, we’d like to expand next door. And we’re actually working on being a distributor for one of our foods for the state. The possibilities are endless.
Natural Pet Hawai’i
1596 Haleukana St., Lihu’e, across the street from Mark’s Place
Open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.