By Sherry Warner
John Iuliani has been building on the success of the small, independent pet supply business he and his brother Jerry bought 10 years ago, after the two decided it was time for a career change. As it turned out, it was a great decision. Rascals Pet Supplies is still going strong after 26 years in business offering Calgarians everything they need to keep their pets healthy and happy.
The 6,000 sq. ft. store just off Edmonton Trail in the northeast, offers an incredible selection of pet food including 30 different brands of dog food and 25 brands of cat food. You’ll also find a huge variety of treats, toys, accessories and grooming supplies for all the pets in your life as well as a large wild bird section for all the nature lovers out there. Rascals also offers grooming services on site.
John has seen many changes in the pet supply business over the years, but what’s remained constant is his commitment to looking after his customers. “Customer service has always been our forte,” says John. “I think a lot of people appreciate good customer service and the quality we stock in our store.” Whether its carrying pet food out to the customer’s car, special ordering items or making sure products are always in stock, John makes sure his customers are well looked after.
That’s why he’s so choosy about the products he puts on his shelves. Many of the brands Rascals carries are made in Canada or by local manufacturers. “We have accessories and treats that are made right here in Calgary,” he says. “Our customers want to stay away from treats made in China and they look for products made in Canada, the U.S. and locally.”
One of the most important choices Rascals customers make is what to feed their pets, and John and his staff are there to help them make an informed decision. “People get pulled in so many directions on the Internet,” says John. There are so many different brands and types of pet food available that customers want help choosing something that’s healthy and safe, and right for their pet, he adds.
Allergies seem to be a big issue with many dogs so Rascals stocks several different brands of grain-free pet foods. If your pet has allergies or food sensitivities it takes a bit of trial and error to find the right food, says John. “It’s a process of elimination — pets can’t tell us what’s working and not working and they’ll eat anything we put in front of them most of the time, so you have to narrow down what’s causing the trouble,” explains John. “There isn’t one best food for any pet, it’s how the animal digests it and processes it.”
In addition to offering great customer service, Rascals serves its community by supporting various rescue organizations with food donations. “We try to do as much as we can, but of course, we would like to do more,” says John.