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Celebrating health and wellness for pets, local Longmont business officially opens it doors

Dee-o-gee celebrates grand opening

Dee-O-Gee LOCO, a franchise of the natural pet food company by the same name, kicked off its grand opening weekend Friday. The two-day event featured all-store discounts, a ribbon cutting and local food vendors.

The store at 110 Emery St. had its soft opening last year in December, but Apr. 1-2 marked its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday hosted by the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce. 

“I guess that we're just starting out and the location is brand new so we're just trying to get the word out to let people know we are open. We are here and the products we sell are healthy products for your pets,” said owner Rachel Shannon. “I just want people to know we're here. Come on in, and check it out!”

The pet store focuses on healthy food for dogs and cats to meet raw, organic, grain-free and holistic diets. Clothes, dog-walking accessories, toys, feeders and other cat and dog products are sold in store and online. Dee-O-Gee LOCO also provides in-house grooming services, a DIY bath station and doggie daycare.

Dee-O-Gee LOCO is offering 20% off discount on its products, with an automatic raffle entry for its giveaway prizes for each $25 spent. Restaurant vendors offered food and drink both days. Coffee and pastries from Ziggi’s Coffee were served for breakfast, sandwiches from Cheba Hut, and Marcos Hot Dogs & Tacos in the late afternoon. Cheba Hut returned for lunch on Saturday, and MECO Coffee Collective and 300 Suns Brewing’s Scratch Kitchen served breakfast and dinner.

Shannon said it’s important for her to connect with fellow Longmont business owners. The grand opening and ribbon cutting with the Longmont Chamber attracted other area entrepreneurs. Snarkington’s Gifts owner Lisa Patchem attended Friday and shopped for her three cats. She frequently participates in Longmont business events including grand openings.

“Grand openings are really good because you get to see what they have, and spend some time getting to know the owner a little bit so that you can recommend them to the public and other businesses,” Patchem said.

Shannon wants to support other small businesses adding that the Dee-O-Gee carries brands for items including toys, leashes and collars are often not found on large ecommerce sites like Amazon Marketplace.

Growing up with her parents owning a small grocery shop in Butte, Montana, Shannon has always loved working in small business. 

“I just grew up in that kind of community. And I had an opportunity to bring something like that down here,” she said.

After getting interested in the pet industry through building a dog-bed prototype, she learned about Dee-O-Gee, which is based out of her home state. Shannon’s family has lived in Longmont and surrounding towns for about 18 years, and decided to open the Montana-based Dee-O-Gee’s first franchise location in Colorado.

As a pet owner herself — she has a dog, Pooch, her “grand-pup,” Luna, and cat, Allister — Shannon opened Dee-O-Gee LOCO to promote a healthy lifestyle for animals.

“What I like about the pet industry is how we're taking care of our pets nowadays,” Shannon said. “I think a lot of people are feeling the same way. They want better foods for their dogs. They want better toys for their dogs.” 

Besides promoting pet health through organically-sourced, filler-free and other minimally-processed food and treats, shelves are stocked with items that encourage play and mental stimulation. A few lines of slow feeder bowls and silicon mats for raw and wet foods are offered, and Shannon said she uses them as a challenging alternative to a traditional bowl.

Friday kept busy with customers and their dogs shopping, meeting staff and enjoying treats — pastries for people and biscuits for the dogs. Longmont resident Lainey Lawall attended the grand opening with her 14-year-old daughter, Kaelyn, and dog, Pixel. Lawall’s friend encouraged her to check out the store, and she said she’s excited to see another small business open in Longmont.

Shannon made her rounds greeting Lawall’s Pixel and all the other visiting dogs. Since opening Dee-O-Gee LOCO, her favorite part of each day is the building new connections. Animals all have their own unique personality, she said, and Shannon enjoys getting to know them as much as their owners.

“I get to come in every day. I go into the daycare immediately, pet my pups, get to talk to them all,” Shannon said. “And then I opened my store. I start the day and then after that, then it’s my customers. That's my favorite part: the dogs and the customers.”


Ali Mai

About the Author: Ali Mai

Ali Mai is freelance writer and photographer, covering business for the Longmont Leader. She writes the weekly column "Longmont Local."
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