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"Mom and Pop" Pet Supply Store Holds Its Own in El Cerrrito

Despite competition from big-box stores, PetVet has managed to stay in business for many years.

Business: PetVet

Employee: Tom Joneson, 42

How do you like working at PetVet? I love it. I’ve worked here for about 10  years. It’s a little mom and pop store, still owned by the original vets (who opened it).

How have you seen it grow over the years? This one has been here for about 25 years; the one in Oakland has been there for about 30 years. I can’t say that it’s grown, but I don’t think that it’s supposed to grow—it’s a little mom and pop business. I think the important thing is that it hasn’t. Even with the Pet Food Express and PetSmarts of the world, we’ve maintained our niche, which is selling the veterinary products to people for less than the vets are charging for them. We help in that way.

I think the corporations are forced to grow, with the stockholders and everything But the little mom and pop shops—very few of them hold their own. But we seem to be holding our own—thirty years, not bad.

Are you local to the area? I actually live in Alameda.

What’s been your experience of working in El Cerrito? I think it’s been improving. We had some losses with losing the Target years ago–some of the other businesses leaving the area–but I think with the new shopping center getting more people in the area, it’s much better. And with fixing Carlson (Boulevard).

Have you run into any problems here, with people? No. Long-time loyal customers. That’s very nice. 

Deborah February 17, 2012 at 06:01 PM
I love the comment "I don't think it's supposed to grow." Our society seems to think growth = success. Staying small often offers higher quality as well as more connection to the community. Besides, what's wrong with just wanting to stay small?
Heidi Rand February 17, 2012 at 07:08 PM
We get special cat food for our kitty here, the only place around that carries it. It's a great store, I recommend it to anyone in the area.
Susan February 17, 2012 at 07:31 PM
This is a great place. First of all, they are run by veterinarians so they have more medical type items than the other stores. Secondly, their prices are superb. I now have my dog on grain-free dog food. Pet Vet is by far the lowest prices on the very high quality pet food products. Even if their prices were not the lowest, they make a significant contribution by providing low cost vaccinnations. So glad someone still does that!
Kyrsten Bean February 18, 2012 at 04:31 AM
I was liked the comment about growth, too. I feel like so many businesses seek expansion over all else, but here we have a few steady mom and pops that do well and provide great service without shafting their clients by valuing aggressive expansion over quality.

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