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Pet Valu making a splash with new location

Owners Jess and Chris Wilson have been looking to grow the store since the day they bought it

Pet Valu at Hollinger Court has found a new home, just a stone’s throw away from its old location. 

The store began operating out of the new unit — formerly home to the LCBO—in January. The space covers a little more than 5,000 square feet and is about twice the size of their old store, with a big draw being the brand-new self-serve dog washing station. 

“We’ve been wanting to grow the store since the day we bought it, and we have actually been in talks to move in ever since we were made aware that the LCBO was going to be leaving. It’s been a long process working with the landlords, who have been fantastic to deal with, so we’re both pretty happy to get to this point. We always kind of knew we would be better off here,” says Chris Wilson, who owns the store with his wife, Jess.

“We were very limited in our old space in terms of selection and variety. It gives us a better opportunity to serve customers and gives us another avenue to bring customers in with the dog wash — it’s unique,” he says.

 “It’s been fantastic. We have great customer feedback from the store but it’s also just such a positive business. There’s very little reason to argue with people and it makes it so much easier for our staff. I think with the new store it’s also a lot bigger for people coming in with their animals,” Chris says. 

“We’ve been seeing a lot more dogs and even cats on leashes and in strollers,” Jess adds. 

The Wilsons have owned the Hollinger Court store for six years and bought the pet chain’s other location in the Timmins Square in 2022. They have a team of 20 employees between the two stores. 

With both of them being animal lovers and Chris having gone to school for business, they jumped on the chance to buy the store when the opportunity arrived. 

“I always wanted to own my own business, and luckily my grandparents owned the store beforehand. They wanted to get out, so I ended up taking it off their hands,” Chris says. 

Jess, who was working as a teacher at the time, originally had no plans to work at the store on a full-time basis, but that changed when the pandemic hit and schools moved online, ultimately making the decision for her. 

“I told Chris that I was never working in the store because I’m a teacher and went to school to be a teacher, but that didn’t last too long. It’s really fun working in the store,” she says. 

As business owners, the Wilsons try to keep active in the community. They often partner with organizations like the Timmins & District Humane Society and K&C Critters to facilitate pet adoptions, and regularly host events — days for walk-in nail trims are common — to raise money for various charities and animal shelters in the community. They host animals that are up for adoption in their stores, and donate broken bags of food that would otherwise go to waste.

“It’s any time we can help out, basically. We’re trying to do one event a month right now,” Jess says. 

“We don’t really advertise much for ourselves or the things we do in the community. Even with stuff like what we do with the Humane Society, we’re not really looking to get a picture in the paper or this and that. We just try to support the local community, any kind of community group we generally try to assist, because we live here too,” Chris says. 

Pet Valu Hollinger Court will hold its grand opening on March 30.

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Kyra Butterworth

About the Author: Kyra Butterworth

Born and raised in Timmins, Kyra is a lifelong writer and lover of all things creative. She received her Bachelor of Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University
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