Location, location

Published 9:53 am Monday, April 16, 2012

Michelle Trihus, owner of Ranch & Pet Supply, loads dog toys onto a shelf Friday at the store, which opens today. The business is expanding its products available at its new location. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s only major pet and animal supply store is opening its doors at a new location today after moving to a more visible store off of East Main Street.

As of today, Ranch & Pet Supply can be found at 2014 E. Main St. in Albert Lea.

Ranch & Pet Supply — formerly known as Geneva Grain Ranch & Pet Supply — has opened in the former Floorcrafters Carpet Warehouse, 2014 E. Main St.

The business, which aims to offer premium products for dogs, cats and other ranch animals, had been at 2020 Pioneer Trail, just off of Freeborn County Road 45, for seven years.

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“There was such a need for additional products that we could offer in town,” said owner Michelle Trihus, of Albert Lea. “My passion for animals is why I do what I do.”

Trihus said while the new store on East Main Street is a “great location,” one of the major reasons she decided to move into the building was because of the size.

She wanted to expand the products available at the store, but there were not many other commercial buildings in town that fit the business’ needs.

Michelle Trihus, owner of Ranch & Pet Supply on Main Street, places dog beds into a crate to sell in her business.

Trihus said in the company’s old building, she had 1,700 square feet of retail space; the new building has 4,500.

“This will better be able to serve our customers,” she noted.

The company will now have an expanded reptile and small animal section along with a wild birdfeed section with seed and feeders.

It will also continue to sell food and items for horses, cattle, goats, lambs and pigs and will have a drive-through like in the former space.

Trihus said Ranch & Pet Supply aims to offer quality products at a competitive price. Though the products may have less familiar names than products at grocery stores, she said they are typically higher quality.

For example, instead of the dog foods at many grocery stores — which have byproducts, grain and very little meat — the foods found at Ranch & Pet Supply have little grain and no fillers.

The foods are healthier for the animals and fill them up more, she said. The dogs will eat less of the product and have fewer digestive problems.

To get the building ready for her business, Trihus said she went through a series of renovations, including putting up a divider wall in the middle of the store, installing windows in the front of the building, updating lighting, pulling up carpeting and installing business signs. She was loading up the shelves at the end of last week.

Trihus, who has a dog, two horses and a cat, said she has three part-time employees who also work at the business. She said she’s willing to hire more as needed.

There will be a grand opening event to celebrate the new building the first two weeks in May with several educational seminars.

On May 5, there will be seminars on raw nutrition and dog food allergies, at 9:30 and 11 a.m. respectively.

On May 12, there will be seminars on the health of large and giant breed dogs and dog food ingredients, at 9:30 and 11 a.m. respectively.