Thursday, June 1, 2017

hometown animal care | There's No Place Like Home

hometown animal care

Loyal Biscuit Co.'s chain of storages in Maine divert their adore of parish and swine into a profitable and ameliorating endeavor.

hometown animal care | " If I ever start looking for my heart's desire again, I won't seem any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with ." Dorothy Gale's gratitude for the unrivaled solace of home gave rise to" The Wonderful Wizard of Oz's" most beloved statement. Those terms too manifest Heidi and Joel Neal's sentiments for the towns of Rockland, Maine, and its bordering parishes. For Heidi, hometown beginnings range deep.

" I could hurl a boulder from my bureau and hit the building I was born in ," replied Heidi, co-owner, with her husband, Joel, of Loyal Biscuit Co." Rockland is my home and will always possess large portions of my centre ."

Love of parish is a family affair, and with that passion happens a strong inclination to serve. A lifetime of participation, both locally and around the world, includes Heidi's budding job as a pee-wee basketball manager at age 12, board membership for the Maine Lobster Festival, and, farther afield, travel to Sri Lanka with Habitat for Humanity. Furthermore, Joel's 23 years of service as a Rockland law enforcement officer and 30 -year stint in the U.S. Army are seasoned with plenty of neighbourhood volunteerism.

" Community busines has always been a part of our lives, and slipping into Loyal Biscuit just made smell ," Heidi replied." I think, for us, our logic from day one has is an element of community service ."

The journey set off with the 2010 obtain of the existing Loyal Biscuit Co. in Rockland, Maine. Minimal retail background aside, the new enterprise permitted the couple to mingle their public-spirit mindset with a devotion to swine. In short tell, the Loyal Biscuit Co. shingle appeared in the nearby burgs of Waterville, Camden and Belfast, returning the number of locations to four by 2014. This spirit permitted the company ideology to blossom.

" Our excitement is swine, especially those most in need; it's a[ calling] that our staff and our purchasers are rabid about as well ," Heidi included." We are supportive of organizations in each of the communities in which a Loyal Biscuit resides ."

It's been a recipe for success, with 2016 being a particularly busy year with the purchase of two buildings in Rockland and Camden. With the new sites came expansion; Rockland changed from 1,700 to 2,700 square paws of retail room and included much-needed bureau room. The Camden store upsized from 2,000 to 2,400 square paws of marketings floor.

" We bought, moved and renovated two buildings in a six-month period ," Heidi said.

" Rockland is a coastal tourist destination, and our new construct is privilege in the very heart of downtown--it's perfect ," she included." We investigate more foot traffic in the summer, and my office overlooks the accumulate ."

The inclusion of office space has allowed Heidi to increase administrative staffing to encompass general and inventory administrators, as well as an occasions and enterprises administrator, which will provide for Loyal Biscuit Co.'s diverse parish collaborations.

The palpable Loyal Biscuit Co. colourings of lime green, orange and violet, combined with consistent layout, signage, shelving and fixtures, serve to distinguish each locating. However , conspicuous architectural facets are left in place. For sample, the Rockland store is placed in a historic construct, and the brick walls and beautiful grove floorings add to the ambience.

" Still, it's pretty obvious where you are when you walk into one of our storages ," Heidi said.

The Courage to Care

In spite of stretch and increment, Loyal Biscuit Co. abides steadfast to a vision of proposing for members of the public, with an emphasis on four-legged residents

" Our point is to make sure all animals are well take better care ," Heidi spoke." I look for that fascination in our staff member. From there, it's just a natural progression to community service, facilitating our clients with their pets, or regard for shelter pets ."

That credo often champions the nutritional requirements of those less fortunate. During the celebration season, the Fill Our Windows, Fill Our Bowls campaign specifies sustenance to homeless pets by growing funding for the purchase and subscription of pet meat to area refuges. Shoppers at each Loyal Biscuit Co. have the opportunity to purchase brightly colored window trinkets in$ 1 and$ 5 increments. As windows fill, the light-green and silver-tongued pass of paper create a joyful celebration climate while spotlighting pets awaiting forever homes.

" We partner with Canidae Pet Foods, and, in 2016, we obtained over 8,000 pounds of pup and "cat-o-nine-tail" meat, delivering our three-year total to 20,000 pounds, which is shared between the refuges ," she spoke." Canidae has been wonderful in is assisting stretching those dollars in order for us to purchase as much meat as is practicable ."

Convening for a induce, neighbors come together at the local inn to dine, heighten a jug and give a hand at the Loyal Biscuit Co. Beers for Paws fundraisers. Three soirees take place yearly, with two at venues in Rockland and Waterville, and one for Camden and Belfast mixed, to fete homeless pets and subsidize three local animal shelters.

The celebratory ambience crescendos when award-winning folk singer and songwriter Paddy Mills takes the stage. It's a high-spirited forum, with batch of raffle trophies and silent auction items as well as a live auction with Joel serving as caller.

" The live auction is so much fun, we formerly sold a single cupcake for $150 ," Heidi spoke." Beers for Paws commonly grows $2,000 to $3,000 per affair, and we have been deeming them since 2011."

When the Neals' pup, George, was severely injured in an accident, his medical treatment and precede rehab underlined the needs of disabled and elderly shelter animals.

" George was very fortunate that we had the resources and the ability to provide for his surgery and to help him soothe ," Heidi said.

Looking after pets in less-favored environments, the George Gives Back fundraiser took place in 2016, with the funds earmarked for the Molly Fund, which provides for medical or elderly the cost of shelter pets in the care of the Pope County Animal Shelter, where George was adopted.

" We set up a GoFundMe page on Facebook ," Heidi spoke." We had a goal of growing $1,500, which we would then pair, but we intention up growing $6,000."

Savory or sugared, when National Pie Day rolls around, tart devotees gather in Rockland to raise funds and awareness for those in need, and Loyal Biscuit Co. attaches in for Pies on Parade. The parish affair is sponsored by the Historic Inns of Rockland, Maine, and for the price of a ticket, participates stroll from venue to venue sampling all manner of crusted tacts. Continues is beneficial to Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry.

" We donate little individually boxed, pie-shaped treats expending our blueberry biscuit recipe that people can take home to their pups ," she said.

hometown animal care

Stores with a Heart

On the homefront, this culture of attend permeates Loyal Biscuit Co. and includes a satellite adoption center for cats and kittens in the Rockland, Waterville and Belfast accumulates. Heidi estimates that, to year, more than 440 felines help find class via the stores.

" We started doing this in 2012 in Rockland, and added the other accumulates over time ," she said.

Adoption epoches take place based on the needs of sphere shelters. These happenings are often tied in to larger parish functions, such as the Summer Solstice Celebration in Rockland, where the tourist person grows and exposure is maximized.

Pet owneds choosing from local shelters receive a welcome packet, and each includes new-pet information from Loyal Biscuit Co ., along with dismis vouchers and a certificate for a free bird-dog bathe. Cat and kittens adopted at the in-store planet hubs take home a container of feline litter and cans of food, in addition to the shelter's welcome packet.

In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, the Puppy Bowl kicks off a lighthearted spin on adoption as shelter puppies vie for the pigskin and charm would-be pet owners.

" This was our second time, and it's getting bigger ," Heidi read." We support them at all locations on the Sunday before the actual football weekend--that style we don't interfere with video games ."

Each store offerings self-serve dog-wash stations, and beyond scour and fluffing the local canine populace, the facilities are put to good use as giveaways for parish happenings, raffle trophies or silent auctions. Those who serve in the armed forces are thanked on Veteran's Day with a free bird-dog wash.

The facilities likewise play important roles in selling efforts.

" We partner with local pet-friendly inns, _empty_ little plow crates for guests, which include a dog-wash certificate ," Heidi said.

In addition, patron vehicles boasting a Loyal Biscuit Co. bumper sticker, distributed among each storage, receive a coupon for a free bird-dog bathe when discerned by staffers. The vouchers, which district," We discerned a Loyal Biscuit bumper sticker on your car; thank you for your approval; satisfy have your next bird-dog bathe on us ," are placed under a windshield wiper.

In-store advertisings often center around a topic; for example, in a nod to holiday overindulgence and subsequent New Year's solvings, Pet Nutrition Month takes lieu in January, and microchipping clinics coincide with National Microchipping Month in June. Nail-trimming clinics are held on a regular basis, with follows donated to a local rescue.

All these departures on and more are posted to Loyal Biscuit's Facebook page, which also provides plenty of educational information. Further, a newsletter gives pet attend tips.

" We likewise use these blogs as comment fragments for our staff ," Heidi read." In January, our local newspaper offers a supplementary aspect,' All About Animals ,' and many of our articles are included ."

Looking Over the Product Rainbow

Loyal Biscuit Co. is committed to providing stellar animal nutrition.

" In a nutshell, it's all about healthy and natural foods--no wheat, corn, soy or byproducts , no consumables from China ," Heidi read." I am very cautious about where products are produced, so, first and foremost, it's about tone and moving sure it's healthy for the dogs. If I wouldn't feed it to my bird-dog, it won't be in the storage ."

In a show of certain advantages of premium pet foods, side-by-side glass flasks contrast a grocery store firebrand versus a more nutrient dense firebrand, _empty_ a visual of the daily costs of each.

" We can tell clients that it payments less to feed a quality food, but when they are able to see the difference, it has a greater affect ," Heidi said.

A full wire of supplies for puppies and felines awaits customers, and four-legged patrons are tempted by an array of toothsome bakery goodies, including Loyal Biscuit's own home-baked Fidelis Biscuit Co. wire of organic bird-dog treats.

For the future, the Neals are looking at the possibility of expansion; however, adoration of parish will ever serve as the Loyal Biscuit Co. cornerstone.

" The approval and heat of our staff members and clients allows us to do what we do ," Heidi read." It's a great feeling, and I thoughts people was happy and proud to be part of these efforts ."

Loyal Biscuit Co. At a Glance

Locations: four sites in Maine
Co-owners: Heidi and Joel Neal
Employees: 8 full period, 10 duty time
Years in business with current owners: 7
Average square hoofs: 2,500 
Product and works: Holistic, all-natural bird-dog and feline foods, complements and treats, dolls, collars, leashes, Fidelis Biscuits, self-serve bird-dog washing, feline satellite approval, approval days
Service and Commitment

Diane Sturgeon has been a patron of Loyal Biscuit Co. since the doors opened. A longtime volunteer at P.A.W.'s Animal Adoption Center in Camden, Maine, Sturgeon quality the endeavor's commitment to pet approval and participation with neighbourhood shelters.

" I often step the shelter pups to see the Camden store, which is nearby ," she read." I might step two or three a daylight, and the Loyal Biscuit store ordeal allows these pups some socialization ."

Further, Sturgeon noted that staff members are not only knowledgeable and friendly, but also clearly affection the swine that come through the doors.

" I'm in there so often--I is well aware ," she said.

Beyond the welcome atmosphere, should a shelter animal have a special require, Sturgeon knows she can rely on Loyal Biscuit Co. to fulfill that requirement.

" If I mention an issue to Heidi, she offers advisory opinions and will order commodities in ," she read." Heidi is always donating--time, money or products--and is involved in anything and everything related to each of the Loyal Biscuit sell fields ."

When not shepherding shelter pups to Loyal Biscuit Co ., Sturgeon creates aside Sundays as a special day for her boxer, Roxy, to pop into the Belfast store for a visit.

" That's her store journey to make up for the fact that I've been cheating on her with the shelter pets during the week ," she said.

It's A Retail Life

What is Loyal Biscuit Co. excellent known for? 
Heidi Neal: Our health foods and quality products. We have so many parties tell us that they do not worry about what they purchase at Loyal Biscuit because we've done the research.

The greatest defy for the independent retailer? 
HN: Online sales. We are fortunate to live in this little bubble here in Maine, but I am hearing more and more," I bought it online ."

The biggest challenge for the pet industry overall? 
HN: Amalgamation. Companies with high standards are being acquired by corporations that may not be quite so awesome. We work hard to develop a firebrand, and a following, based on character. When a company sells to another where these attributes are downplayed, we have to start all over again.

What is the most pleasing thought about being an independent retailer? 
HN: When a purchaser comes in and thanks us for our admonition. I don't think there is anything better than knowing we've facilitated someone's pet.

What's in store for the future of Loyal Biscuit Co .? 
HN: More storages!

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