DURAND — Opening a pet store was a natural move for Amanda Wilson, who has worked in many pet stores over the years and keeps many pets herself.
At the moment, she and her husband, Steve Wilson, have three dogs, two cats, two parakeets and a dozen chickens at their home in Bancroft.
“I love animals. I wanted to own my own pet store, after having worked for other people for many years,” Amanda Wilson said Friday, the day after opening Lucky Pets, 8785 Monroe Road in the Durand Plaza, inside the former Jumbo video store.
“I’ve taken my favorite ideas and things from the other places I’ve worked, and put them together in my own store.”
Lucky Pets is a close-out store, carrying high-end food for dogs, cats, birds, pond fish and small farm animals offered at deep discounts, because they are nearing their expiration dates.
Earthborn, Nutri Source and Nutro are some of the brands the store sells for dogs ranging from puppies to seniors. Wilson said she determines her store prices by finding the cheapest price online and cutting it in half.
“We’re providing loved animals with higher-quality food,” said Steve Wilson, who has been stocking shelves, ripping up carpet and otherwise helping his wife get the 4,000-square-foot space ready for business.
The store also offers many items that aren’t close-out, including medications, bedding, treats, cat litter, dog crates, toys and other accessories.
“Really, we have everything you need,” Wilson said.
She said Lucky Pets is the only domestic pet store in the Durand area, which is one of the reasons she chose Durand as a location.
“I had to drive to Owosso or Flint, and I hated it,” she said. “Thirty minutes one way, to get a bag of dog food.”
Grocery store brands, which contain corn and animal byproducts, just wouldn’t do when it comes to feeding Wilson’s pets, or stocking her pet store.
“We stay away from the grocery store brands,” she said. “We do carry some name brands, like Alpo, Pedigree and Purina, but I’d say 96 percent of our food doesn’t have corn and byproducts. Those ingredients can cause hot spots in dogs, where they lose hair and scratch.”
Future plans include adoption events, rabies clinics and pet cleaning services.
When Wilson decided to open a pet store, all the big things seemed to fall into place. By the end of last year, shelving, a large store sign and the building space all became available, she said.
Using the business skills she’d gained previously from operating a second-hand clothing store in Mt. Morris, Wilson opened Lucky Pets’ doors last Thursday.
“We had a good turnout on the first day,” she said. “It’s been great.”
Lucky Pets is open seven days a week. Hours, which could be expanded depending on customer needs, are currently 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The store has a Facebook page.