“We’re the Boise Co-op and we carry the best,” boasted Zachary Jones, pet supply buyer for the Boise Co-op.
The Co-op recently added a new pet food store next to the Co-op’s Wine Shop. The shop unofficially opened on June 4, and Jones is already watching customers trickle in.
The store carries all of the Co-op’s previous pet goods, along with a 30-percent increase in product, including bulk dog and cat food and doggie ice cream (coming soon). The shop also stocks do-it-yourself dog food, some of which suggests adding meat.
Jones pitched the idea of an off-site pet supply store 18 months ago and the Co-op’s current renovation plans finally made it possible. The Co-op will add self-serve islands to the deli and put in a dining area. Changing the location of the pet products to outside the main store will help make room for these changes.
When Jones chooses what pet food brands to stock, he strives to be health-conscientious. He looks for food that uses whole meat and avoids animal by-products, as well as soy and corn.
“The big one is animal by-product,” Jones said. “The majority of people, after they understand the nature of what’s in animal by-product, would not want to feed it to their pets. We’re talking about the nastiest parts of slaughtered animals, and it’s disgusting.”
Canned food lines the shop's shelves, including a five-star dog entree complete with turkey, duck, chicken, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas and granny smith apples.
“I don’t think it’s a big secret that Iams and Science Diet and those kinds of foods are sub-par to what we carry,” Jones said.
Jones hopes to collaborate with Idaho's Bounty to get organic chicken and rabbit feed, as well as bird seed in bulk.
Scanning the selection of peanut butter hip-and-joint biscuits and vegetarian pig ears, Jones said he tries to find a balance between high quality and reasonable prices.
Another popular product sold at the new shop is dehydrated dog food.
“Perfect for backpackers,” Jones said. “It’s full of protein and weighs very little.”
The Co-op Pet Shop will hold its grand opening on Monday, June 25, and will operate Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.