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Lickin' Good Whole Pet Foods opens new storefront on Main

Lickin' Good Whole Pet Foods took over its new space earlier this month which was formerly the shoe store Fresh Catch. (Nicole Vik/Enterprise)

Pets kept on leashes, and pet owners (no leashes required), are welcome to visit Lickin’ Good Whole Pet Foods at its new location on Main Avenue in Park Rapids. The shop provides organic pet foods without fillers, hormones, antibiotics or grain. They also stock the new store with grooming supplies, toys and treats.

Business owner Cecelia Michaels was influenced by some of her friends who owned stores similar to hers.

“I learned the business that way and knew pretty much everything there was to know about loving your animal and giving them the right food,” she explained.

According to Michaels, she is the third owner of the building which was formerly Fresh Catch. They have been in the new space just over two weeks and they are still settling in.

Michaels started her business in a different storefront also on Main in May. When the building came up for sale Michaels decided it was time to expand.

They went from around 350 square feet to 900 square feet with the same amount of inventory.

Michaels explained that the old space was “a little tight” at times, now she is hoping to expand the inventory and bring in a little bit more variety of product. She said she has had a lot of customers asking about whether or not they sell rodent food and rabbit food.

“Whatever needs they’re looking for is what I’d like to provide,” Michaels said about putting her customers’ needs first. “I’m here and if people would like to try out more whole natural foods just come take a look and I’d like to help them. They can browse and ask lots of questions, I’m here to answer anything.”

It’s all about educating consumers about the products.

“I have to educate people every day,” she said, adding on her list of things to do would be to possibly offer classes in the future. “I’ve thought about maybe having the distributor come in and have them be the educator.”

“A lot of people have said they’re so happy we’re here, they want the whole and natural foods for their pets and they love the idea.”

All of the products at Lickin’ Good Whole Pet Foods are American made. The pet food is not mass-produced or over distributed; they produce small batches to avoid bad recalls. The distributors that Michaels supplies in her store are focused on quality and not quantity. Most of the distributors she uses want to see small shops educating the consumers.

Michaels explained that there are so many foods available that are good for pets and that it can be overwhelming for pet owners to make the right choice.

The return policy at Lickin’ Good Whole Pet Foods is lenient. Customers simply need to keep their receipts in case the food selected does not work out for their pet. Any of the distributors Michaels buys from will distribute refunds to ensure that pet owners find the proper food for their beloved pets.

They also give out samples to pet owners so their pets can try out the food before spending money on something that might not agree with their pets.

“Don’t stay on something if the pet isn’t doing well, keep switching until you find the right thing,” Michaels explained. “Sometimes just buying a whole new flavor is all it might take. Trial and error of everything.”

Michaels simply wants to provide owners healthy options for their pets locally so they can avoid traveling out of town to get it.

“I’m just here for the health of it. I’m not trying to compete with anybody,” Michaels said. “I’m not out to make a lot of money. I just want to help a lot of people.”

Going forward Michaels said she would like to add more inventory, keep building her clientele and give people what they really want.

“I want to avoid bringing in anything that’s had bad recalls, I try to avoid those foods. I have five brands right now and I would like to bring in more and keep educating people,” she said about looking at long term goals for her business.