This week we introduce the Hamilton Centre location, our first store to open in Ontario, to share their experience and local insight! Read on to learn about the new store owner as she shares her story.
1. When did this location open?
We opened our doors on Saturday, December 15th. We had a soft opening and welcomed customers to get to know our store and enter for a chance to win a gift card just in time for Christmas. We gave away $100, $50 and $25 dollar gift card. We are planning a Grand Opening event closer to the spring with even bigger giveaways so stay tuned!
2. Where are you located?
We are located on South East Hamilton Mountain in the same plaza as Walmart . This is an area of Hamilton that many people are welcoming as their new neighborhood with new schools, housing developments, and retail.
Our address is 105-2172 Rymal Rd. East. Hamilton, Ontario, L0R 1P0 right beside the Bank of Montreal.
3. What are the best ways for customers to contact the store for questions and stay up to date?
Like our page and message us through Facebook www.facebook.com/boneandbiscuithamilton/
Follow us on Instagram @theboneandbiscuithamilton
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us at the store at 905-692-3222
4. What’s your name?
5. Who else has been integral to the opening of the new store?
This is a family owned and operated business and so the support of my family has been crucial in the opening of this store. My husband, Eric, has consistently supported me throughout this new journey and is also the co-owner of the store. All our extended family and friends have been a huge support with all their encouragement and advice. Finally, I have two pretty great kids, Cian and Briar who so excited about the store. You will likely see my family around the store, cheering me on.
6. Do you own any cats or dogs?
We have the pleasure of owning three amazing dogs. Our oldest, Monty is an 11-year old Westi-Poo. Monty has volunteered quite a bit in his life. He was a co-therapist when I was involved in Private Practice. He also worked alongside me at a local service agency providing Animal Assisted Activities to adults living with an ABI. He even did a reading program for the children at the downtown Hamilton Library.
Piper is our 7-year-old rescue from the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA. We believe she might have some rat terrier in her due to her extra large ears. She came to us with some abuse history and needed a lot of TLC to regain her confidence back and to learn how to become a pack member again.
Stevie Knickers is our youngest who just turned 2 years. Knicks is a Coton-De-Tulear and was welcomed into our home when my mum passed away. You will have to come by the store and ask us about Knick’s name. She is quite a goofball and loves snuggling with my kids any chance she gets.
We are not just a dog family either. We did have two amazing cats, Cleo and Caesar who have crossed over the rainbow bridge. We are not quite ready to introduce any more furbabies into our family just yet. However, we are very excited to support some local rescues and you will hopefully see some in the store in the New Year.
Monty will likely be at the store quite frequently due to his calm demeanor and experience with people and other animals. Stevie Knickers may also come by for a visit every now and again. Piper does really well with keeping to her routine and her comfort zone and will keep watch at home for now.
7. What has inspired your interest in owning a Bone & Biscuit location?
I worked my way through high school and University by working at a local pet store. I really loved working there. Since then, it has always been in the back of my mind to own a pet store but instead, I followed a different career path and became a Social Worker, working with children, youth and their families with their mental wellness. Yet, my love for animals never went away. In my career, I specialized in the Human-Animal relationship and the impact it had on people’s emotional, mental and physical well-being. With the thought of owning a pet store always nagging at me, my husband and I decided to take a leap into the pet store industry. When I came across The Bone and Biscuit Co., we felt that their mission was a great fit for our family. We loved how they focused on quality products, natural solutions and providing education to their customers. We also really appreciated how they always want to give back to their local community! Then we found out they wanted to bring their stores to Ontario! I feel that The Bone and Biscuit Co., stores really stand out based on the products and their relationship with their customers. Our stores are not simply about selling product, but getting to know the pet and pet parent. I care about helping pets be healthy because I know how important they are to our own health. It is also pretty amazing to think this will be one of the first stores to open in Ontario! Plus, it helps to think that every day I get to surround myself with other animal lovers and snuggle all the pets that come into the store. It’s a dream come true.
8. Monty, Piper and Stevie Knickers hit the jackpot now that you run a specialty pet supply store! What kind of toy/treat do they currently love?
Monty is a big fan of balls that squeak, so we need to make sure that they are durable enough to last but soft enough that he can squeeze down to make the noise. Piper is a power walker and it is very important to get an appropriate collar for her neck to ensure comfort and control. Knicks is treat driven and so we try to find a combination of treats that can be given in small amounts and are healthy but also ones that last a little longer as a chew treat. None of our dogs can live without our trusty Kong. You can fill a Kong with so many different goodies and freeze it to make the treat last longer.
One of the aspects of owning a pet store I’m excited about is trying out the different products and also listening to the feedback from the customers about their experience. All pets will like different things but it is always great to be able to let someone know that there are certain products that stand out and why.
9. Where is the nearest dog park?
There are two different off-leash dog parks in the area. The Hamilton-Burlington SPCA at 245 Dartnell Rd. offers two different fenced in areas. One at the top and one below that is owned by the City of Hamilton.
The second dog park is the Heritage Green Community dog park at 297 First Rd. West. This is one of the largest dog parks in Hamilton and offers some nice trails.
10. What is the best advice you could give to new pet owners?
Be patient and observe. They may not be able to communicate like us but they provide us with different signs and signals that can help us determine how they are feeling and what they are needing. I found it very helpful to know about the different body signals animals will give and it is important to listen to them. Many times we push our own needs and wants on the pet when it doesn’t match their own temperament and needs.
Just like children, pets benefit from routine and consistency. When you change it, understand that (just like children) they may show their reactions through their behaviour.
Finally, there is no one correct answer. There is a tremendous amount of information out there on what your pet needs. Don’t ever be worried to ask questions, research and ask multiple people their opinion and why. Then choose what you think is best for you and your pet!
Thanks for the spotlight Rhiannon!
Are you interested in opening your own Bone & Biscuit pet store? See our franchise information page and inquire about opportunities in your area! 🐕