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Meeting the needs of dogs and cats

Expansion proves that Nature's Pet Market is doing the right thing

Photo Credit: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Mason Hartman specializes in giving his customers what they want at Natures Pet Market in Central Village in West Linn.

In an era when many pet supply stores are closing, Mason Hartman has recently nearly doubled the size of Nature’s Pet Market in West Linn.

His secret of success is simple. He listens to what the community asks for and does it.

“It took a while to establish ourselves, but we’ve been seeing solid increases in our business,” Hartman said.

Hartman admits to being “a little nervous” when he opened his store in Central Village in 2011, a bad economic year. However, Hartman’s fortunes started to turn right after the bridge opened to Oregon City, allowing a much greater flow of visitors to West Linn.

While the bridge was a big help, Hartman said, “Our biggest advertising is by word of mouth.”

When his customers talk, Hartman listens. It also helps to have the customer service skills Hartman gained in 11 years with Nordstrom’s.

“We want to cater to the niche of people who love their pets and sell them the products and services they want,” Hartman said. “We started with the basic products here, then we started listening to what the community wanted.”

For instance, the customers wanted no food from China because of incidents in which tainted food from that nation killed dogs and cats.

“I vowed to sell no food or treats from China,” Hartman said. “I would feel horrible if a dog got sick from food sold here. It’s all about keeping pets healthy. People want more natural alternatives.

“With toys, you can’t get around China. But we also offer a line of toys made in the USA.”

Dogs and cats can’t talk, but Hartman still knows what they want.

“Cats are carnivores, but they’re made to eat food of cereal and grains,” Hartman said.

Hartman also caters to the lifestyles of cats and dogs with all kinds of toys, scratching pads, beds and collars. Even the cat or dog who has everything can probably find something it likes at Nature’s Pet Market.

“People aren’t just coming in for the monthly bag of food,” Hartman said. “They shop for other things.”

Hartman is in the “fun phase” now that his store expansion is complete. His decision to open the store three years ago has been justified.

“I took a huge leap of faith,” Hartman said. “With my love of business and my love of pets, this store was a natural combination.”

For more information about the products and services offered at Nature’s Pet Market go to the website naturespetmarket.com or call 503-305-8628. The store is located at 5656 Hood St., suite 101 in West Linn’s Central Village. The store is open seven days a week.


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