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Pet Pad retailer pursues purrfection

By August 29, 2022No Comments
Nancy Hippe, right, has been the proud owner of The Lloydminster Pet Pad Inc. for 32 years and now runs the business with members of her family, including one of her granddaughters, Jayden, left. Taylor Weaver Meridian Source

 

Roughly 32 years ago, Nancy Hippe saw a need for a new canine boarding facility in the Border City, fast forward to the present date and that boarding facility has grown into the Lloydminster Pet Pad Inc., an award-winning business Hippe never imagined possible.

“As a child, I always dreamt of owning a pet store, I just never thought I actually would,” said Hippe. 

“I worked for the Battle River School Division with administration and I drove a school bus, and I wanted to do something for myself.

“I’ve always been passionate about pets, so this seemed like a perfect fit.”

Hippe started the Pet Pad as a grooming and boarding facility in December 1990, and it didn’t take long for her to also get into the retail side of pets.

“I set up a little retail space in town and we still did the grooming and boarding out of town,” she said. 

“We also had our shuttle service going, which was great.”

Being a family-owned and operated business for 32 years, Hippe couldn’t help but reflect on the community that’s supported her over the years.

“The community has been awesome; very supportive,” she said. “I’m doing more administration work and less hands-on work with the customers now, and I really miss more of the hands-on work, it’s therapy for me.”

Hippe also mentioned the fact it hasn’t just been the business that’s changed over the years, the knowledge the staff carries has also changed.

“When you watch the same animals for roughly 18 years through the boarding facility, you can really start to see what the food they eat does to them over the years,” she said. “I got more into the aspect of learning the products very well. We’re still learning because you learn every day, but we have a little niche there.”

Family has always been a big part of the business for Hippe, so much so that she now has one of her daughters and two of her granddaughters on the payroll.

“My one granddaughter Jayden has a lot of interest in the business, and who knows, maybe one day she’ll take it over?” she said. 

“There’s an expertise with each and every one of them, so there’s lots of diversification.”

The Pet Pad was also a recent recipient of the Canadian Pet Community Awards Independent Retailer Award for all of Western Canada, something Hippe is beaming over.

“I’m still pinching myself, is that for real? We were up against some pretty big stores and I was just thrilled to receive that award. After 32 that says a lot about the staff, the store itself, as well as our customers.”

“It was a huge win for us,” she said. “There was a lot of gratification winning that award, and I’m still pinching my cheek.”

Not everyone has the drive and motivation to start their own business, but for Hippe, there are no regrets.

“The biggest thing I learned was to always follow your dreams,” she said. “The customers have been great in the Lloydminster and surrounding areas, and they are the reason we continue to grow the way are.”

The Pet Pad is located at #2 4010 50 Ave., Lloydminster, Alta.