Welcome New Members
American Pest Management, Inc.
Members celebrating Chamber anniversaries in May 2013
All Paws Pet Center
You opened the first All Paws Pet Center in 2006. What inspired the store?
My wife Tammy and I love our pets, and we were never satisfied with the pet supply stores we shopped. When one of our dogs developed allergies, I researched them and foods since the stores weren’t much help. I was shocked when I learned what I thought was a good food actually was not and was the cause for the allergy. After much due diligence, we decided to open a store that offered quality foods, bedding, collars, and toys for cats and dogs. Since neither of us had retail experience, this was a big step.
Our concept was to be the best and unlike any other in Wichita. We wanted to set a high standard similar to what Bill Warren did with theatres. This directed our choice of product lines and focus on excellent service, delivered by a knowledgeable and caring staff. We offer the best selection of quality foods and healthy treats around, and provide our customers with the information necessary to make informed choices.
Many people assume that specialty shops like ours will be expensive, but we are very competitive with big box stores. Feeding quality does not have to be expensive. Less food is actually required and health benefits include fewer trips to the veterinary.
What surprised you the most?
How much hard work it is. It’s a lot of fun, but also a lot of hard work.
When we expanded to the East side, Tammy and I felt we needed to add a partner to maintain our standards as the business grew. David and Pat Lebus, two of our original customers with the same passion for animals and business philosophy, joined us in 2009. We have a nice complement of background skills, and this enabled us to open our third location in Derby in 2011. Having an owner in each store to ensure and instill the “All Paws philosophy” makes a huge difference. We also have an excellent staff that is second to none.
What is the most rewarding aspect?
There are several. First, I would say the freedom to do things the way we choose. We are accountable and have the control to run the business as we think it should be. There aren’t extra layers of decision-making, which generates inefficiency. Next, our two- and four-legged customers! We’re passionate about adoption, so we showcase animals in our stores to support and raise awareness. Additionally, we support the spay and neuter clinic. It’s also rewarding to see consumers becoming more knowledgeable and demanding better quality foods.
Are there key lessons you have learned from others?
I have learned from every boss I have worked for and with over the years. I’ve learned not only what to do, but what not to do. Top lessons for me: do what you do best, and take pride in what you do.
What message would you like to share with other Chamber members?
Please support your local businesses! It is very important. All the business owners I know work very hard, and their services contribute to our community. We want to earn your business, which requires first that people think about buying local.
What would we find you doing in your spare time?
Ribbon Cuttings and Open Houses
A ribbon-cutting event is a great way to gain exposure for your business and host other Chamber members at your location. Let us know if you are moving to a new location, opening a new business, or celebrating an expansion. To request Chamber assistance with your ribbon-cutting event, please contact Nicole Robinson, Membership Development Coordinator at 316.268.1116.
Congratulations to our Chamber Members
2013 Ribbon-Cutting and Open House Events
Check the Chamber's Facebook page for event photos.
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