Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Stuffing Fido’s stocking

Pet-food store has community roots and healthy brands

Credit: Adam Coish

Pets can be such a beautiful, enriching part of our lives. They’re affectionate, they’re loyal, they’re trusting — and they can’t bug you for shoe money or their own car. Yes, for all the love and companionship they give us, it’s only fair that we try to provide them with food that isn’t made primarily of gristle and chopped up bits of old hoof.

So if you’re still feeding Fido one of the poor-quality brands, it might be a good idea to wander over to Pet Cuisine, a shop that specializes in healthy food for our furry friends. Owner Chris Moise can not only advise you on the best choice for your pet, he also offers products that can’t be found at your local No Frills.
“We’re all about quality of life,” Moise says. “We do special orders and carry raw food, as well as premium foods like Origin or Acana, which is Canadian. We could carry the crappy stuff, too, but we make a conscious choice not to do that. We try to educate the customer on what’s best.”
Moise points out that feeding an animal a properly balanced diet isn’t just good for longevity; it’s also a financially sound approach to preventative healthcare. After all, something tells me that Harper and Co aren’t about to extend health benefits to Fluffy, given their flirtation with dismantling them for human beings. 
The store itself has a great neighbourhood feeling, with genuinely friendly staff who seem eager to help out or just pass the time of day. It’s an atmosphere that Moise has purposefully cultivated since opening back in 2005.
“There’s a communal feel to our store,” he says. “It’s a real neighbourhood place. We walk the dogs, do grooming, do doggie daycare, and I made a point of having a large glass window so people can see that they’re being cared for and not just crated in the back.”
Like any business these days, competition is stiff in the pet-food world. An American chain recently opened a store nearby, but Moise feels that his personal touch in helping customers with their pets, contributing product to neighbourhood raffles and keeping a friendly long-term staff will keep Pet Cuisine in a class of its own.
“I really value the staff here,” he says. “We don’t work in a top-down environment. We’re a team. And I live in the area, so I feel I have a responsibility to be part of the community. That’s important to me.” 
Pet Cuisine is located at 127 Front St E, one and a half blocks east of Jarvis.