The Canadian Pet Industry Awards highlight the exceptional work of individuals and businesses going the extra mile to provide superior service, educate their clients, and their dedication to the pet industry. PIJAC Canada would like to shine a spotlight on each of our 2020 Quebec, Ontario, and Maritimes winners, as they share with us a little more about themselves and their business.
Independent Retailer (Quebec) – Les Moulées Bellifrance in St-Hyacinthe, Quebec (Owner: Amélie Lafrance)
For nearly 7 years, Amélie Lafrance, co-owner of Moulées Bellifrance, has been developing the retail division of the family business specializing in animal feed for more than 15 years. The vision of this young entrepreneur is very simple, to offer an extraordinary customer experience by standing out through personalized service and a unique choice of products for pets and farm animals. A new store was opened in October 2019 in Drummondville and already has an impressive number of loyal customers and a 3rd store is already in the company’s expansion plans. The success of the 2 stores is undoubtedly linked to the team of enthusiasts who provide exceptional service to their customers.
Independent Retailer (Ontario) – Pet Grocer in Alliston, Ontario (Owner: Jennifer Newark)
Jennifer Newark is well known within New Tecumseth and surrounding communities for her knowledge of holistic animal care. For the past three years, she has been sharing that knowledge in her retail store, Pet Grocer, by providing nutritional and nutraceutical consultations. The Pet Grocer brand has been operating since 2009. All staff receive continuing education and are certified pet food and raw pet food nutrition specialists. Pet Grocer is proud to support their local rescue groups, has made significant donations of over $8500 worth of food to the Alliston District Humane Society (ADHS) within the first two years of opening and sponsoring Outrun Rescue with in-store promotions. Pet Grocer also partners with many other local charities to celebrate the good work they do, such as Matthew’s House Hospice, Treetops community, sports team sponsorship, high school robotics teams, co-ops, and others. Pet Grocer hosts free seminar days covering such topics as animal first aid, how to keep your pet mentally stimulated indoors, introductions to fresh food diets, and more. Pet Grocer’s focus is on helping people and pets enjoy a happy, health-filled life together – and they strive to ensure that pet owners feel at ease with recommendations that fit their lifestyle and beliefs.
Chain Store (Quebec) – Boutique d’animaux Chico in St-Canut, Quebec
Eloïse and Danick are young entrepreneurs who opened their boutique in November 2016. They had previously been working in the pet industry, Danick as a feed company representative, and Eloïse as a dog-trainer always working in a specialized pet store. They are passionate about customer service and are always looking to transmit their passion to their community. Less than four years after opening their first boutique, the pair have opened a second store over the summer!
Chain Store (Ontario) – Global Pet Foods – Tenth Line & Charlemagne in Ottawa, Ontario
Since 2004 the team at Global Pet Foods Orleans has been providing helpful advice to all of their customers on the health and well-being of their pets. On a yearly basis, they hold their annual fundraiser Show Us Your Heart where they help to raise money for a rescue of their choice. Throughout the year, they also donate food and accessories to different rescues in the city.
Chain Store (Maritimes) – Global Pet Foods – Mountain Rd & Mapleton Rd in Moncton, New-Brunswick
This family-operated store prides itself on providing excellent customer service. The staff at Global Pet Foods are constantly learning in order to better help their customers and their pets. They are active community members that partner with local animal rescues and adoption centers and fundraise for them through adoption and fundraising events in their store.
Pet Service Provider (Quebec) – Rêves Canins in St-Eustache, Quebec
This boarding kennel is modern and unique! Pet parents love this kennel because of the professional and attentive team. Something unique about them is that small dogs are kept in their own area for their comfort.
Pet Service Provider (Ontario) – The Fox and Hound Canine Retreat in Sarnia, Ontario
Pet Service Provider (Maritimes) – Jollytails – Dartmouth/Burnside in Dartmouth, Nova-Scotia
Jollytails Dartmouth is managed by Bronwyn, who has been in the pet retail and doggy daycare industry for over ten years. She has been with Jollytails since 2016! Jollytails is an independent, Nova Scotia owned Facility featuring food and retail, dog daycare, training and grooming.
Manufacturer Sales Representative (Quebec) – Vincent B. Doiron of Mega Dog Raw/Bold Raw
Prior to working for Bold Raw / Mega Dog, Vincent was a manager for several years for the Croque en bol chain store before it was acquired by Pattes & Griffes, which allowed him to learn a lot about the field. He decided to become a representative because he really enjoyed the interaction he had with the representatives who came to see him and envisioned himself in this type of role. It was in 2016 that he began his work as a representative for the distribution company Solutions Pour Animaux where he acquired his experience in representation. 2 years later, a golden opportunity presented itself to him and he joined the Bold Raw / Mega Dog team, which allowed him to flourish as the company’s philosophy was 100% with him. Having already worked and managed in stores, Vincent is able to put himself in the shoes of retailers, which allows him to generate a great bond with his customers! Vincent’s role today is to educate his clients to help them better understand natural animal nutrition. He makes it his duty that our pets eat what is best for their health. He is always available to give training, events, seminars when you need him and he is happy to be there for his customers.
Manufacturer Sales Representative (Ontario) – Caroline Pettersen of Pets Global Inc.
Caroline is an experienced Sales Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the consumer goods industry. She is skilled in Customer Insight, Business Relationship Management, Customer Service, Consumer Products, and sales. She has been working in the pet industry for over 18 years!
Manufacturer Sales Representative (Maritimes) – Scott Corbett of Champion Petfoods
Scott Corbett is relatively new to Champion Petfoods, having been with them for just over a year. In a little time, he has already made a huge impact on his customers! As the Territory Manager in Atlantic Canada, he has been outstanding at further improving relationships with retailers. He is a strong problem solver and someone that retail partners can always turn to for support and advice. He always continues to educate retailers and pet lovers about Champion Petfoods and their mission, vision, and values. Whether it be at retail events, store visits, or during seminars, he is always readily available to help out in whatever capacity he can. We can see why he was nominated so many times by industry players!
Distributor Sales Representative (Quebec) – Robin Lutchman of Pet Save Direct
Robin Lutchman brings with him over 30 years of retail and wholesale experience in the pet industry. His hands-on approach and love for pets have allowed him to gain an incredible wealth of product knowledge across all pet categories. He always strives to offer the best customer service possible, while fostering long-term relationships. With this, we can see why he was nominated by so many! A fun fact about Robin is that he has a 300-gallon reef ecosystem containing many small polyp stony corals. He also homes African finches, parrots, and his beloved dog.
Distributor Sales Representative (Ontario) – Carl Eldridge of Leis Pet Distributing Inc.
Carl Elridge has been with Leis Pet Distributing Inc. for four years as their Ottawa Territory Manager. He came into the company from the gaming industry after having worked for Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) for 15 years. Although this was a significant shift in the industry, he hasn’t looked back since! Customer relationships, communication, and work ethic are things that Carl values. His customers rely on him to help them brainstorm and to help them find the right products for their stores, taking into account the store type, demography, and customers. Carl loves that Leis Pet Distributing Inc. is involved in charity and community events, like the 45th Anniversary of the Apple Butter and Cheese Festival in Wellesley, ON, their home base. Although the event was canceled due to COVID-19, they still took part in a large fundraiser to help support the community. Apart from pets and helping his customers, Carl Eldridge loves camping, hockey, his family, and watching his two kids play the sports they are passionate about!
Distributor Sales Representative (Maritimes) – Dot Weaver of Freedom Pet Supplies Inc.
Dot has been a part of the Freedom Pet Supplies Inc. family since 2012. As a Distributor Sales Representative, she enjoys helping her clients in any way she can, like answering questions and helping them find what they need. One thing she loves about her job is working at events, from the set-up to showtime. She considers herself to be especially lucky, having the Atlantic as her territory. “It is truly a great place with wonderful people to call home.”
Congratulations to all of the winners. Thank you for making a difference in our incredible industry! We look forward to hosting these awards again in 2021 and once again shining a spotlight on the incredible members of our pet community.