Lisa Nitkin, owner of Pets West in Broadmead Village, poses with her loyal sidekick, Rosie. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

4 Un-fur-getable ways shopping local helps your neighbourhood!

This family-run pet store has been giving back to Saanich for 31 years

The surge in demand for online shopping shows no sign of slowing, with people keen to stay safe and stay home as much as possible. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop supporting your favourite local business.

“Big online stores might seem easier on the surface, but you won’t get the same level of service, and all your money leaves the community without providing any benefit,” says Lisa Nitkin, owner of Pets West in Saanich. “Shopping local is better for you, and it’s better for the community!”

Not convinced? Here are four reasons to shop small, and shop local:

  1. Convenience: Local businesses go above and beyond to meet the needs of their customers! At Pets West you can shop online, by email, over the phone at 250-744-1779, or by text at 236-882-4830. “We want to be sure our customers feel safe, and we’re always happy to help recommend products for your pet,” Nitkin says. Pets West offers delivery and curb-side pick-up, and will special-order any product you need.
  2. Specialized staff: “We research every item that we put on the shelves,” Nitkin says. “All of our staff are highly knowledgable, and training is ongoing.” The store offers nutritional consultations to help you find the best food for your pet, based on their age, activity level, your budget and other factors. “We take a lot of time to learn about your pet before making a recommendation.”
  3. Keeping your money in the community: “We have a continuing commitment to local charities, schools, pet rescues and food banks. It’s always been our goal to be ethical and reliable,” Nitkin says, but Pets West devotion to the community goes beyond charity. When something breaks at the store, it’s local tradespeople who fix it. When Nitkin pays taxes, it’s to the local community. “We’re committed to treating our employees well, and paying living wages. Then they spend their paycheques in the local community and the investment keeps growing.”
  4. Canadian and BC products: When you buy from Pets West, not only are you supporting a local, family-owned business, you’re also supporting quality Canadian manufacturers. “These are our friends and neighbours, and they’re passionate about pets. There’s a feeling of confidence knowing where each product comes from and dealing with owners face to face,” Nitkin says. “The same applies to our business — if customers have an issue they can speak to me, not some customer service agent.”

Pets West has made adjustments this year to keep customers and staff safe, including intense daily cleaning, personal protective equipment, and limited capacity in the store. In addition to pet supplies, the store hosts cats from local rescue agencies which are available for adoption. Find the store at 777 Royal Oak Dr. #220, open seven days a week 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest deals and cute pet pictures!

AnimalsPetsPets & Peoplewomen entrepreneurs

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