Pet Supplies Plus is open and thriving in the ShopRite Plaza on Route 206 in Byram. The store isn’t a big box, but rather smaller and easy to navigate. It prides itself on superior customer service and is a hassle-free way for pet parents to find products, take advantage of amenities like the store’s self-pet wash station, curbside pickup and a well-trained, knowledgeable pet care team that even carries orders out to your car.
The store came to fruition because of a dog named Evan. A few years ago, co-owner Chris Scheid, of Morristown, adopted Evan to train him to be a seeing eye dog.
“Evan failed a few classes and was declared ineligible to assist blind people,” Scheid said. “A number of dogs do fail and are just not cut out for the job. Of course, we adopted Evan on a permanent basis.”
Because of Evan, Scheid started frequenting the Pet Supplies Plus in their vicinity. Scheid had been a banker for years, but had opted out of the corporate world and was looking to move into some sort of retail. He talked to the owner of his local Pet Supplies Plus store and the wheels started turning.
“I realized that many people had adopted pets during COVID and that there was no Pet Supplies Plus in Sussex County,” he said.
His childhood friend, Jim Brown, lived in Cranberry Lake, and Brown’s wife, Ann-Marie, was a former veterinary technician. The family has dogs, guinea pigs and chickens. The stars were aligning for the two to go into business together and they put the ball in motion to purchase and open a Pet Supplies Plus franchise.
“The space in the ShopRite Plaza was a great fit, but the building needed some work,” Scheid said. “The space was actually two spaces that needed to be merged, so it took some time.”
Now, Pet Supplies Plus has been open for several months and offers pet parents a large selection of natural pet foods, goods and pet services at low prices, with a focus on a unique, rich in-store experience for “neighbors” (the term Pet Supplies Plus uses for customer).
Pet parents are welcome to shop with their dogs at the store, where knowledgeable team members are on-site to answer questions, offer tips or just get on their hands and knees to play with pets who enter the store.
“Each team member has been trained extensively in the areas of natural and holistic foods and we’re here to answer questions and guide our neighbors to the right products,” Scheid said.
The store offers birds, reptiles and fish, and is brimming with all kinds of supplies for dogs and cats. Most of the supplies come from the parent company, and supply chain issues have not really affected the chain.
In the back of the store, the self-service pet washing station is a huge hit.
“We’re blessed to be given the opportunity to serve our neighbors with quality pet goods and services,” said Ann-Marie Brown, the store’s manager and wife of co-owner Jim Brown.
Scheid’s son, CJ, lives and attends college in Philadelphia, but enjoys working at the store when he’s home.
“I’m proud of my dad for jumping into this and everyone involved is doing a great job,” he said.
Pet Supplies Plus customer Ralph Hernandez is a huge fan of Pet Supplies Plus.
“Super friendly staff and not in a ‘how much did you come to spend’ way,” he said. “I used the self-grooming [station] for my dog for the first time and I was in and out in 30 minutes.”
“This store carries all the high-end brands that my picky eaters enjoy,” said customer Sahar Elsaadi. “The staff is absolutely amazing.”
For information and hours, call 862-251-6001 or visit facebook.com/pspbyram.