In the world of pet food, supplies and accessories, there's certainly no shortage of options or opinions. From your big-box retailers like Walmart, Target, BJ's, PetSmart or PetCo stores to smaller retailers, pet owners can generally find what they need with little hassle.
Problems, however, may arise when pet owners have to decide what food, supplies and care products are right for their dogs, and that's where a shop like Windsor resident Bill Davis' shines.
Davis, who opened the doors to his Kibble-n-Stuff pet shop in Windsor Locks a little over a year ago, offers a wide variety of pet merchandise — everything from feed to clothes and everything in between (he even sells wild bird feed). But he also offers a few things at Kibble-n-Stuff that don't come with a price tag — priceless items if you will: a personal touch and a wealth of knowledge.
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"Pet food is a very controversial thing in that people have their own ideas," said Davis from his shop located in Windsor Locks' Dexter Plaza. A variation in ideas isn't necessarily the problem, according to Davis. Instead, the problem is those ideas aren't always grounded in fact.
"If someone's looking for dog food, they'll go on the Internet and there are all these people with all their opinions and it can get very confusing," explained Davis. "A lot of (the ideas are) not necessarily truthful. Not that they're trying to deceive, but (the ideas) are not always based on science."
Davis has a long history in the business. Not only is Kibble-n-Stuff the second shop he's run in his life — the other being a horse equipment retailer "a long time ago in a far away land" — but he also has a degree in animal science, did graduate work in animal nutrition, owned and published The Horse Journal/Kentucky Horseman and spent years in sales for a feed company.
With much of that experience gained during the quarter century he lived in Kentucky, Davis' work has come full circle at Kibble-n-Stuff, and he's putting it to use well beyond face value.
According to Davis, the best part of his work has been the people who come into his shop. He certainly doesn't beat around the bush as far as the importance of personal relationships in his business are concerned (his Website, www.Kibble-n-Stuff.com, displays lyrics from the famous "Cheers" theme song, "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came..."), and his efforts aren't lost on those in the community.
"To deal with someone you know means a lot," said Debbie Samson of .
According to Samson, Davis is extremely knowledgeable and he's the person to go to for advice, particularly when it comes to food or skin allergy troubles a pet may have.
"He's a wonderful man, extremely knowledgeable," Samson said. "He gets to know you. More importantly, he gets to know your pet. And his hours are excellent."
Samson has learned about Davis' personal touch on a first-hand basis.
Since opening, Davis has helped local families through Samson's organization, donating bag after bag of pet food to aid the group's cause.
"We've donated because we can and (Friends of Windsor Animal Care and Control) work hard at helping people keep their pets. That's the step before they get into a rescue situation," said Davis.
In addition to becoming acquainted with local pet owners and their furry family members, Davis also wants the community become acquainted with his pets.
Davis is the owner of two dogs — a Brittany Spaniel and a Havanese-Springer Spaniel mix. It's the latter, a 2-and-a-half year old named Ollie, who appears in all the Kibble-n-Stuff ads.
For more information about Kibble-n-Stuff, click here to visit the shop's directory listing on Windsor Locks Patch.