Opening her first location, Bone & Biscuit Jensen Lake, in St. Albert was already a dream come true for Tara. But now that dream has expanded to two locations with the opening of Bone & Biscuit Riverside! Tara Edwards, the owner of the Bone & Biscuit Jensen Lake store and now the owner of the new Bone & Biscuit Riverside store in St. Albert, is ready to welcome customers into her store and widen her community.
Officially opened on October 13th, there’s twice the amount of things to love about her second locally owned & operated location, and she can’t wait to share it with you.
How It All Started: Creating A St. Albert Pet Store To Be Proud Of
When Tara opened her first store, Bone & Biscuit Jensen Lake, it was because she saw a lack of high-quality customer service in the local pet stores. So, she made it her mission to make her pet supply stores in St. Albert offer the best in customer service with knowledgeable staff to help pet owners get the best products and information they needed to care for their pets.
“[When I opened] the first location, it was funny because I moved here from Grande Prairie. My friend Lisa Boe had one [Bone & Biscuit store] at the time in Grand Prairie [now she has two], and after I relocated I was looking for a store for my senior dog. I went into all the pet food stores here in Saint Albert and I didn’t get good customer service and I thought, man, do I wish that there was a Bone & Biscuit here. I always got great service from Lisa and her staff. So then I went home, and I was thinking “Well, why, isn’t there a Bone & Biscuit in St. Albert?” And then what do I do next? I sent an email inquiring. They replied right away and said “Yes, we are looking at bringing a Bone & Biscuit into Saint Albert,” and they chose me. Over two other applicants as well, so I’m very blessed to have the first location,”says Tara.
Tara is proud of the high-quality service and products she offers at both locations and takes pride that her locations are both locally-owned and operated.
Bone & Biscuit Riverside: A Prime Location In St. Albert, Alberta
When the opportunity to open a second, busier location in St. Albert arose, she knew she had to jump on it.
“The second location is a bonus. This location is going to be busier than my first one. We are located next to a dog park and a grocery store that is under construction right now. The club grocery store brings in 70,000 transactions per month. So hopefully, all that traffic comes our way. So I’m really excited about the new location,”adds Tara.
Located right off McKenney Avenue near multiple stores, residential areas, the Lacombe Lake Dog Park, and the new grocery store currently under construction, Tara hopes Bone & Biscuit Riverside will offer a convenient location for St. Albert and pet owners who live in the area. Plus, it’s only 10 minutes away from her first location.
Here is Bone & Biscuit Riverside’s address:
Reaching Out To Pet Parents In The Bone & Biscuit Riverside Community In St. Albert
For Tara, the Bone & Biscuit Riverside location wasn’t just an opportunity for a busier store. It was also a chance to reach out to fellow pet owners in St. Albert and to connect with her local community.
“Not even a block away from Bone & Biscuit Riverside we have the Lacombe Lake Dog Park. I don’t live too far from the dog park, and I go by it multiple times a day [since we’re so close]… I’m looking forward to meeting other pet parents around these neighbourhoods. The Bone & Biscuit Jensen Lake location is about 10 minutes away from Bone & Biscuit Riverside, and I often go for a walk in this neighbourhood between the two locations. I see so many people that are walking their dogs in the dog park or near the stores that I’ve never seen before. It’ll be nice to delve into this community and meet other people and pet parents in the new area… I just love the community feel. We take pride in people coming back and coming to see us and having that personal connection,”says Tara.
Striving For High-Quality Customer Service For St. Albert Customers At Bone & Biscuit Riverside
It was as simple as wanting to offer better customer service and pet care knowledge to customers that made Tara want to open the Bone & Biscuit Jensen Lake location, and it’s no different with Bone & Biscuit Riverside. She wants her customers to feel heard and like they can come to her stores to find not only the best pet products in St. Albert but also the best service.
“I just knew that my customer service was what was going to set me apart from the other pet food stores. We went on a little tour, my manager [Amber] and I, and we went into some other local pet food stores here in Saint Albert and on the west side of Edmonton, and honestly, our stores are cleaner, our stores are more organized, our stores are friendlier, and our stores have so much more knowledge,”shares Tara.
When customers come to Bone & Biscuit Riverside in St. Albert, Tara hopes that they’ll receive the customer service they deserve, and the level of service she’s always wanted for herself and her pets.
“We don’t want to just send customers out with a bag of dog food and say, “Okay, see you later.” We want to make sure that our customers have the information and the knowledge for them to make the right decisions on what they’re gonna feed their dog to make them healthier and to live a long life. I find the other [stores] don’t do that, and we take so much pride and passion in that regard. I just think, why would it not be like that everywhere? But it’s not, unfortunately. There are so many corporate big stores, and they don’t seem to care, they just wanna make a buck, and that’s not what we’re about here… We’re all about knowledge, educating our customers and providing good customer service,”says Tara.
The Support of Her Family Behind Tara’s Bone & Biscuit Riverside Location
With her husband, Lee, and two sons, Ethan and Brett, cheering her on, Tara is excited about opening Bone Biscuit Riverside and has felt the support of her family every step of the way.
“They’re my biggest advocates, my two boys and my husband. My husband is the Jack of all trades. He works in the store with me, he does my maintenance. He’ll do deliveries. Now we’re gonna have transfers between both stores to make it convenient for the customers, which he’ll be helping with as well. And my boys, they prop me up and tell me how great I am. They’re just so happy that we have this opportunity to open up a second store and grow, and maybe someday they can be a part of it,”shares Tara.
For The Love Of Animals And Pets At Bone & Biscuit Riverside In St. Albert
As an advocate for animals and a pet owner herself, Tara has always wanted her pet supply stores to reflect how she’d want her animals to be taken care of.
Tara has owned multiple pets throughout her life, including Manny, a Shih Tzu Poodle cross who you may have even seen happily greeting customers (or sleeping on the job) at Tara’s Bone & Biscuit Jensen Lake location. Unfortunately, Manny passed away at 17 years old earlier this year in May.
“He spent a lot of time at the Jensen Lake location, and I still have people coming in and saying, “Where’s Manny? I haven’t seen him for a long time.” But he had got to the point where he was showing signs of dementia [and other health issues] and he couldn’t be at the store any longer,”says Tara.
However, Tara is also the proud owner of a beautiful Siberian cat named Lenny, who she adopted about two years ago after falling in love with the breed. She had hoped he could be a store cat, but Lenny had other plans in mind.
“Somebody brought in [to the store] a beautiful Siberian cat, and I fell in love with this cat. It had blue eyes, and I asked her where she got it. She gave me the number of the breeder. So I called, and if they had kittens on the way, then it was meant to be. Well, sure enough, she said. “Oh, we actually have a litter due in December.” So I am the proud owner of a Siberian cat, and his name is Lenny. And I wanted him to be a store cat. But [when I brought him in] he was digging into the bags and tearing the treat bags, trying to eat everything, so I couldn’t even bring him in to be the store cat,”Tara says with a laugh.
Tara is hopeful about getting a new puppy in the future, but wants to give it more time after Manny’s passing and after the Bone & Biscuit Riverside store has had time to settle after opening. She loves the companionship animals bring, and loves being a pet owner even with the heartache it can bring.
“Oh, the companionship is my favourite thing for sure, especially since my boys have left the nest! They’re playing hockey and going to school in the States, and the companionship animals bring is so wonderful. They’re just so loyal, right? They don’t talk back like your kids, for sure [laughs]. And they’re all their own little characters. We recently bought a cabin at a lake. And so, of course, when I got Lenny I thought, “Oh, this cat’s going to be an indoor cat.” Well, when we took him to the cabin, he became an outside cat. He loves to be outside at the lake and to come and go and frolic and do as he pleases. And then when we come to town, he’s not so happy, because he’s an indoor cat again because I don’t want him going outside and being a nuisance to the neighbours. But he’s got such character and we love to take him to the cabin and the lake when we can,”says Tara.
Sharing Bone & Biscuit Riverside’s Advice For New & Experienced Pet Owners
After being a pet owner for most of her life, she knows how important it is to receive the right advice and pet products to ensure your pet is happy and healthy. When people come into Bone & Biscuit Riverside, she wants to provide customers with the advice they need.
As for her favourite piece of advice, Tara likes to keep it simple: Read your labels.
“Always read your labels. We read labels for us humans, and it’s just as important to read the labels for any loved one, any dog or cat. Of course, at Bone & Biscuit Riverside we don’t want to feed any wheat, soy and corn to our pets. It’s not in our Bone & Biscuit nutritional guidelines, and if you’re going to have a pet you might as well look after them, and feed them properly. You’ll have less vet bills in the future, and you’ll get longevity from your animal.”
And when it comes to choosing the right pet for new pet owners, Tara can’t stress enough the importance of patience and choosing a pet that fits your lifestyle.
“You should pick a dog or cat that best suits your lifestyle. Think about what your lifestyle is like. Are you active? Are you away from home a lot? Do you have any kids? And when you get your animal, you should try to be patient and understanding when you’re training them. Be compassionate. It can take a long time and a lot of patience to get it right, but it’s worth it. Spending quality time with your pets is important, too. Animals are loyal, and they will trust you and love you unconditionally. They’re trusting you to take care of them. So making the effort to take them to regular vet checkups, and educating yourself on your pet’s nutritional health and wellness, are all important in keeping them healthy and happy,”says Tara.
The Bone & Biscuit Riverside Team & Staff
Along with the support of her family, Tara couldn’t get her Bone & Biscuit Riverside store ready without the help of her wonderful staff and team, and she can’t wait for you to meet them.
“We’ve hired three new employees. And Jill, who has been with me for a couple of years [helping at the other location], recently quit her second job to come on board full-time, so we’re very excited to have her. And Amber is my manager, and she has been a godsend keeping me sane and has been so helpful. It’s all about the team here. We’re all equal. [Jill and Amber] are a big part of this team, and they are why we’re successful. I’m so happy to have them on the team,”says Tara.
Come Visit The Now Open Bone & Biscuit Riverside In St. Albert
Now open, Tara and the Bone & Biscuit Riverside team are ready to welcome customers into the store. Whether you’re a new pet owner looking for advice on what to get your puppy, looking for advice on new cat food to try or want to visit a locally owned & operated pet store to re-up on your pet supplies, Bone & Biscuit Riverside can help. Be sure to visit Bone & Biscuit Riverside’s location page for more information on their address, contact information and what brands they’ll carry in store.
Stop by the Bone & Biscuit Riverside store to say “hi” to the team and help them celebrate their store opening. And stay tuned to Bone & Biscuit Riverside’s Facebook and Instagram pages; you won’t want to miss when they announce their Grand Opening Celebration (coming in late 2022/early 2023).
Welcome to the Bone & Biscuit family, Bone & Biscuit Riverside!
Bone & Biscuit Riverside’s address and contact information:
Phone number: (780) 458-9804