An ambitious healthy pet food retailer has managed to finalise a deal, despite the country going into lockdown, to secure a move into a former supermarket in Totton in Hampshire to create the biggest store of its kind in the country.
Deborah Burrows, managing director of Healthy Pet Store, which specialises in frozen meals for cats and dogs, managed to keep the project alive to take over a former supermarket and transform it into one of the largest retailers of frozen food for pets in the country.
Now the new unit - across the Salisbury Road Arcade from the current store - will be home to 30 freezers of freshly frozen raw meat recipes for pets across the South when it opens later this month.
Deborah said: “It was a massive challenge keeping the deal to take over the unit in sight. We had committed to the process many months before lockdown, but the Covid-19 crisis could have scuppered all our plans.
“But thanks to the landlord, property agents, and contractors, we have got everything back on track again.”
The new store will be the largest retailer of frozen fresh foods for meat-eating pets in the country by square footage. Freshly frozen raw meat recipes are a rapidly growing part of the pet food market and are popular among those who want a healthy and nutritious diet for their pets, and for those who are looking for better value for money too.
Healthy Pet Store focuses on its own brand of food so it can have strict control over the 50 recipes it sells. Customers currently travel from, and can receive home deliveries to, all of Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire, with others journeying from London and even Yorkshire.
The existing store opened just over five years ago and currently sells around seven tonnes of frozen food each week, excluding ambient and dried categories, and that total is growing.
Deborah said: “People are really focused these days on providing healthy and nutritious food for their cats and dogs and understand the physical and mental benefits this can bring. We provide an easy, straight forward and convenient way to do this.”
“We are very careful with the ranges of products we stock to ensure companion animals are getting the very best food, and more, that they need for a healthy lifestyle.”
The current small store will close when the eleven-strong team complete the move into the new unit and open the doors to the public on June 20.