LEMONT – Lori McCaffrey, owner of All Paws Pantry, 1226 S. State St., knows from personal experience the benefits of grain-free dog food.
She and her husband and business partner, Dennis, own eight dogs. They would often have to get their dogs treated for allergies and ear infections.
"Immediately, as I switched over to grain-free food, I stopped taking them over to the vet," she said.
While the food cost more, she said she saved money by not making those vet appointments.
McCaffrey wanted to share her experience with other dog owners. So she has opened All Paws Pantry on Aug. 2, which serves premium and grain-free dog food and other pet supplies.
McCaffrey and store manager Mark Dopkowski were previously in business at a different location, under the name All Critter Feed.
While McCaffrey worked at a post office before starting the business, Dopkowski had business experience as a manager for Portillo's.
He said he met the McCaffreys at Portillo's five years ago. He went into business with them because he was getting burnt out by the restaurant industry.
Dopkowski has found new energy working with a different kind of dog.
"It feels good when people tell you that because of what you're feeding the animals, they're feeling better," he said.
McCaffrey said that before she opened her store in Lemont, she had to go to stores in Downers Grove and Willowbrook to find the same kind of selection of premium dog food.
"Now, since we've opened, we've gotten so many people who used to go to those two stores," she said.
Dopkowski, who hopes to open more stores, said he wants people to think of All Paws Pantry as Lemont's source for all its pet food needs. If customers do not find the product that they want, he will try to make a custom order for them.
"Our mission is to be a healthy pet store for Lemont," he said. "It's not about us. It's about your pets."
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. SaturdayWhere: All Paws Pantry, 1226, S. State St., LemontMore information: The opening will feature free nail trimming (a service that will be offered the first Saturday of every month), hourly raffles, food, drinks and a free pet gift for the first 50 customers. Sales representatives from Fromm, Born Free and Stella and Chewy's will also be present.