Jeff’s very good at public relations (PR) and putting us out there in the local community. It’s also awesome we can bring our kids and dogs to work with us. Our customers like seeing us with them. That’s how they know this is a family-run business.
And the kids love that we’re in the pet business. We have everything at home now: three dogs, two birds, two rabbits and even two fish tanks! Our daughters wanted the rabbits right after we got the store, where our small animal section includes them along with hamsters, birds and hedgehogs.
Every shift at the store is different and I never know what to expect. All kinds of stuff can happen throughout the day.
We originally talked about opening a second store, which I would leave the bank to run, but as there wasn’t any particular standout opportunity to buy a second franchise, Jeff instead went to the franchisor with a proposal to expand our existing store and they approved it. We had an empty unit beside us where an electronics store had closed at the end of 2014, a few months after we opened. Our expansion finished in mid-August 2016.
We’re big believers in God and we know He had a hand in this. I never thought we would enjoy this level of success in retail, but everything has just rolled along smoothly.
Jeff and Rhonda Riley are Pet Valu co-franchisees in St. Catharines, Ont. For more information, visit www.petvalu.com/location/2282.
Date of first franchise: 1987
Franchised/corporate units: 523
Investment range: $277,860 – $575,860
Initial franchise fee: $30,000