Written by Abbie Walker | Photographed by Joe Ellis
Since Josh and Stephanie Gilmer opened The Pet Shop of Fondren in July 2016, their store has welcomed all kinds of wagging tails through their door. And bull terrier, Moo, is often in the store, ready to greet customers.
“Everybody knows Moo,” says Josh. “Sometimes people come in just to see him.”
Beyond the front door, what sets The Pet Shop apart isn’t just their sleek design and quality pet products–it is their expertise.
Stephanie works as a vet tech at Animal Medical Center, and Josh has over 20 years in the animal health product industry.
“I’ve been doing this long enough where I can select the best products,” says Josh.
Whether it’s food, collars and leashes, beds, flea treatments, or toys, Josh says they try to carry a wide range of products to best suit each customer and their budget.
“And if we don’t have it, we can try to get it for you,” he adds.
They specialize in holistic, grain-free food brands like Fromm, Earthborn, Pure Vita and Acana. Customers also enjoy the eco-friendly Lupine collars and leashes, which are made out of recycled plastic bottles. Josh says he looks for products that are great one-time purchases, focusing on quality with a minimal environmental footprint. While customers are there, personalized brass name plates can also be added to the collars.
“Our products have expanded as our clientele expands,” says Josh. “We make sure to listen to our customers and what they want.”
Smaller brands, such as Wolfgang and Crewlala, add a new level of quality and uniqueness to their inventory. The Pet Shop was also the first to bring Ruffwear pet gear to Mississippi.
“I like bringing different companies here,” Josh says. “I want to keep it non-traditional.”
Have a hard time getting to Fondren during the day? The Pet Shop also has a delivery service for a small free, with orders over $100 delivered for free. “It’s perfect for people who are on the go and may not have time to run by,” Josh says.
The Pet Shop is getting ready to launch their website, and Josh says he is planning on adding a blog and a podcast.
“I know a lot of vets and people in the industry,” he says. “And I want to be able to share that knowledge with pet owners.”
The Pet Shop has also teamed up with animal rescue groups like Animal Rescue Fund of MS (ARF) and Jackson Friends of the Animal Shelter for fundraising and adopting events. “I want to help the community as much as I am able,” says Josh.
He adds that Fondren has been a great location for the store because of the neighborhood’s eclectic vibe. “I like being different, thinking outside the box and not being so generic,” he says. “And we have received a lot of support from the community.”
The Pet Shop of Fondren is located in the Fondren Village shopping center at 2947 Old Canton Rd, Suite G. They are open Monday thru Friday 8 am – 6 pm and Saturday 10 am – 4 pm. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @thepetshopfondren, and visit thepetshopfondren.com.