Merchant of the Month: Happy Retales,Brentwood, TN

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Puppies for adoption through a local rescue group
By Lynn Stacy-Smith

When general manager Kimberly Thompson attended a distributor trade show in the spring of 2013 she was not looking for another dog food to stock in the Happy Retales store in Brentwood, Tennessee. However, after stopping by the Canine Caviar booth and talking to the sales representatives in the store, Thompson said that she knew she had to have it for their store. Since then, Thompson said, Canine Caviar holistic dog food has been a great addition for the customers in the store and has proven to be an extremely popular product.

Happy ReTales began carrying Canine Caviar in April 2013, and Thompson told us that it fills a niche for customers who are looking for alternative and healthy diets for their pets, particularly those customers who themselves consume an alkaline diet and are concerned about ph balance. Thompson also mentioned that Canine Caviar is very popular with customers who own white colored dogs as the alkaline diet has minimized discoloring of their fur.

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Rescued kittens looking for their purrever home


Happy ReTales is a fun place to shop for pet supplies, and their goal is to not just provide supplies but also to educate customers on topics like spaying/neutering, pet nutrition, why the store carries some products and not others. Thomson said, “customers are looking for information without being judged,” and Happy ReTales is happy to provide that information. Canine Caviar’s desire to educate customers and pet store employees aligns nicely with the store’s goals. In fact they even had a special Canine Caviar event in September 2013 in which the local Canine Caviar sales representative was on-hand to answer questions about ingredients and the cooking process of the food.

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Happy Retales customers hanging out with Santa

Thompson said, “I love the very clear, simple and concise ingredient panel and the explanation of why an ingredient is in the food” and that she often utilizes our informational booklet when assisting customers with questions about the food. She also laughed a little when she told us that the most common customer question is why the pets produce so little poop when eating Canine Caviar. Thompson is happy to tell them that it is because Canine Caviar is 93% digestible and so the pets are burning more of the food off as energy and eliminating less.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Happy Retales is that although the store is for-profit, the owner of the store donates 100% of the profits after expenses to six different local rescue groups. There are only two paid full-time employees, and the rest of the associates at the store volunteer their time. The owner himself does not keep any of the profits for himself. Recently the store was able to donate $10,000 to the funding of a new spay/neuter clinic being built locally. They also help fund a feral cat catch and release program.

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Rescued puppies searching for their forever homes as customers check out at Happy Retales

Thompson talked about the volunteer program and said that it offers a great way for people to help the rescue organizations by donating their time, particularly since some animal lovers are not able to foster or adopt or to donate financially. “They cannot donate money, but they can donate their time.” Thompson herself is a foster parent who typically fosters puppies and brings them into the store to help socialize them. She has “failed” foster three times, giving her three rescued dogs who have their forever homes with her family.

If you live in the Brentwood/Nashville, Tenneesee area, stop by Happy Retales.  They offer frequent rescue meet and greet events if you are looking for an additional family member you are likely to find a suitable match at one of their events. In April they hold a Love is Pawsible event in which rescue groups, product vendors and other animal advocates come together to spread the word about rescue and spaying/neutering. And make sure you stop by to purchase your Canine Caviar and other pet supplies. As Thompson said, the best part of the store is “getting what you need but still supporting what you believe in.”