RHINEBECK, N.Y. -- Since it opened last April, a pet store in Rhinebeck has committed to going local.
Dexter's Dog Boutique opened last April in the village. The store is run by Eric and Dana Peterson who decided to open the store after Dana got tired of working in the corporate world. The Petersons named the store after Dexter, their rescue dog, who is a chow/pitbull mix.
"We were figuring out what we were going to do and this idea came about," Eric Peterson said. "We love dogs, we both grew up around them. We decided to go for it- we took a big leap of faith."
The Petersons said they love running a business in Rhinebeck, saying it is a cool area, filled with many places to visit, such as vineyards and apple orchards. One way the store gives back is to try and have as many products as possible from the Hudson Valley, working with seven Hudson Valley companies. Every product sold at Dexter's Dog Boutique is made in the United States.
"It's this niche we've carved out," Eric Peterson said. "We did our research on what companies are in the area. We started out with three or four and as we researched, it kept getting bigger and bigger.
Running their own business has been a wild ride for the Petersons, who admit there's been a lot to learn. But it's not been without its rewards.
"We really enjoy interacting with customers," Eric Peterson said. "I've loved meeting other dogs. It's been really fun."
The Petersons found that running a pet store is a good business model since people always are happy to treat their pets.
"We found even in a recession, people were still spending money," Peterson said.Pet owners have become more concerned about the foods they buy, Peterson said. He said owners should do their homework before they decide what to feed their dog.
"You have to see where the food is sourced from," Peterson said. "Where is the main protein source? Try to avoid food with corn meal or anything with junk and filler."
The Petersons feed their dog Fromm, a small family owned company based out of Wisconsin.
"They only supply to small retailers," Peterson said. "You won't find their food at Petco and PetSmart."
Dexter's biggest competition comes from online retail stores like Amazon, that come in and undercut prices.
"We try to offer a professional level of service," Peterson said. "We are your source for what your dog should have. We can advise people and help point them in the right direction."
Peterson said one of his favorite parts about running the store is when owners with big dogs come in.
"We've had mastiffs," Peterson said. "My wife saw a St. Bernard. We had a cane corso- they are just so big but are so gentle."
Dexter's Dog Boutique is at 6423 Montgomery Street/Suite 8 in Rhinebeck. For more information, contact 845-516-4803 or visit www.dextersdogboutique.com