Dr. Mark Davis opened the doors to a pet supplies store, the newest addition to the South Fork Animal Hospital less than two weeks ago, filling a void left when the pet store next door closed.
The small store carries essentials for dogs, cats, and even small animals, such as rabbits or guinea pigs. Shelves are packed with premium pet food, such as Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Science Diet, Innova, and Eukanuba. The store is staffed with technicians from the attached veterinary practice some of whom have become certified in nutrition.
One of them, Louise Purrazzella, who along with Krista Eckart helped set up the store, said the pricing is competitive with Internet pricing.
Having a pet store in Wainscott is important, Eckart said. Otherwise, clients would have to travel just to pick up the essentials. The closest pet stores are in Amagansett, Sag Harbor, and Southampton Village. "In the summer that could be 2 or 3 hours just to get a bag of dog food," she said.
Davis said it was always in his "master plan" to open a pet supplies store, but he held off because he didn't want to compete with Pet Hampton & Aquarium, which was next store to his animal hospital until it closed after the owner lost the lease in December after 22 years. When the store closed, he decided to put to use an unused portion of the Montauk Highway building.
He hopes that between his veterinary care and the new store, his complex will become "a one stop spot" for pet care needs.
His store also sells small animal bedding and food, fish food, bird food, pet carriers, dog beds, and bowls.
"We want to do quality not quantity," Purrazzella said. They will be adding inventory as they get a handle on the demand, she said. One idea they've had is to offer gift baskets with pet supplies for the new pet owner or for hostess gifts.
The store can also fill prescription medications, whether it comes from Davis or another veterinarian.
Particularly convenient for veterinary clients, the pet store's computer system is linked to the practice. Customers can schedule and change appointments and look up records from the check out counter.
South Fork Animal Hospital was recently recertified through the American Animal Hospital Association, a process that Davis voluntarily takes part in every five years. The hospital is the only one in the Town of East Hampton with the certification, which it has held since 1996, Davis said.
The hospital also offers boarding and bathing.
The pet store is open 7 days a week, as is the animal hospital, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store's phone number is 631-537-8038. A more formal grand opening celebration may be held sometime before the summer.
Have you stopped into the new pet supplies store yet? Will you? Leave a comment below.