Award-winning pet food and supplies retailer, Natural Pawz, is scheduled to open its newest store in Steiner Ranch’s Quinlan Crossing shopping center at 10 a.m., Jan. 9.
The Steiner Ranch location is Natural Pawz’ 18th store and its second store outside of the greater Houston area, where it was founded in 2005. The first store opening in the Austin area was in Round Rock last September.
“We are meeting hundreds of enthusiastic pet owners in the Austin area as we scout for new locations,” said co-founder, Biff Picone.
Already the store is reaching out to help the Four Points community even before opening. Last week on Dec. 29, Natural Pawz donated five new animal oxygen mask kits to Lake Travis Fire Rescue at its station 604, which services River Place, Steiner Ranch, Comanche Trail and Marshall Ford.
Each kit contains three re-useable masks, each a different size so firefighters have what they need to rescue and resuscitate smaller cats, medium-sized dogs and larger dogs.
Natural Pawz has donated more than 200 oxygen mask kits to fire departments in and around Houston, and in Round Rock. Picone’s father was a career firefighter and building inspector and he is passionate about helping first responders have the equipment they need to care for both people and their pets.
In general, the Natural Pawz staff seeks to help pet owners select the most nutritious foods and snacks for their pets’ unique conditions, especially dogs and cats with allergies, obesity and joint problems, according to Picone and Nadine Joli-Coeur, co-founder.
The pair report they have invested many hours researching factories across the United States and Canada to learn how dog and cat food is produced, even visiting some to see behind-the-scenes processes. Manufacturers then provide more than 40 hours of training to store staff.
“(Pet owners) come with lots of questions about how to best care for their pets’ health and, when we succeed, our pets have happier, healthier lives and stronger bonds with their owners,” Picone said.
The Steiner Ranch store’s grand opening celebration on Saturday, Jan. 9 will include gift bags for the first 20 guests. Each bag will be valued at $50 or more and include pet toys, treats and food samples. Guests will also be eligible for surprises and prizes throughout the day including free pet treats, discounts on pet food, toys and more. Natural Pawz will also donate a portion of the day’s sales to Steiner Ranch Elementary PTA as part of its Pawz for Education program.
Furthermore, Natural Pawz plans to donate 1,000 pounds of dog food to Travis County Emergency Services this winter.
“Our first responders put their lives at risk for all of us, both humans and our animals. We want to ensure they have what they need to do their jobs,” said Joli-Coeur.
Kelly Green will manage the new Natural Pawz Steiner Ranch store.
“Steiner Ranch is a really close-knit community and I’m looking forward to getting more involved here, from working with area pet rescue groups to fundraising with Steiner Ranch Elementary and other schools,” Green said.
The store comes to Four Points with a list of accolades. Pet Product News has selected Natural Pawz as “Retailer of the Year” three times. Also, customers have voted Natural Pawz as the “Best Pet Supply Store in Houston” in several publications such as the Houston Press, Fort Bend Herald, Houston A-List and Woodlands Online.