Welcome to Small Business Saturday! This week we are featuring the well known Preuss Pets where, “Our pets aren’t “just” animals. They’re family.”
We recently spoke with Sean Murphy, Operations Manager at Preuss Pets. He shared much about Preuss Pets including their 40 year Greater Lansing area history, their love of all things Old Town and their experience as a small business owner during COVID. And a few things about pets you will not find anywhere else!
Welcome Preuss Pets!
Tell us about Preuss Pets!
Preuss is a family run business in Old Town that is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary, its 15th in our current location.
Run by Rick and Debbie Preuss along with their daughter, Kirbay, the store specializes in the care of exotic animals. Our goal is to create the best situation possible for you and your new family member no matter if they have fur, feathers, or scales!
Sean, what is your background? What made you go into what you’re doing now?
I am a long time Preuss employee who also was a zookeeper. I started out at Preuss before leaving for the zoo world where I spent almost 8 years at 3 different zoos before coming back to the store.
I have always been passionate about animals and their care, which is why I love what I do. When taking care of animals I don’t see it as a work, but a labor of love I just happen to get paid for!
What do you love about having a business in the Greater Lansing area, Old Town specifically?
We love the feel of Old Town and the community! It has an almost Norman Rockwell aesthetic; older buildings, unique, non-corporate businesses, friendly faces that you recognize… It just has a small town feel that is very inviting.
We remember you in Haslett, how long have you been in Old Town?
It has been amazing to watch Old Town change and grow and to see so many independent businesses come in.
What is the most exotic creature Preuss has on site currently?
That is tough! We carry reptiles, small mammals, birds, freshwater and saltwater fish with our collection constantly changing. It’s hard to narrow down the most exotic, but I would have to say that the saltwater department gets in some of the strangest and most unique creatures I’ve ever seen.
What is the most popular creature (same as above 🙂 ) Preuss Pets sells?
That varies by department, but I would say that ferrets always seem to be near the top of that list. Everyone just seems to love a furry slinky!
What has been the most challenging part of running your business during COVID, and how did you overcome it?
I came in part way through COVID but what I noticed was the fast evolution; the changing of strategy and business planning in order to still provide our services. We adapted quickly by providing curbside ordering, online and phone orders for pickup, and most recently a delivery service for dog foods and toys.
COVID forced an adaptation that I think was needed for modern business to compete with corporate and online ordering.
What are some exciting plans you have for the business in 2021 and as we move towards 2022?
It seems we are always growing and part of our consistent plan is to utilize our building space as best we can to provide the newest and best products for our customers, more space for our animal companions and more in-house propagation/breeding of animals.
We have also recently started working with more conservation groups and raising money to help endangered animals.
What’s your favorite business or two in the Greater Lansing area 🙂 ?
Everything in Old Town! Personally I love eating at Pablo’s or MEAT and you can’t go wrong with shopping at Bad Annie’s or Thrift Witch, but I always recommend to our customers to spend a couple hours just walking around Old Town and checking out as many businesses as possible and to grab some ice cream from Arctic Corner on the way!
Anything else you would like to share with GLAMom’s?
We absolutely love and appreciate the support of local groups and businesses that also want to support local, independent, and family owned businesses.
In a time when you can one click shop online, it’s refreshing to see so many people who want to shop local and support their community. People may not realize it, but spending some money locally means the world to that business and can be life changing.
Thanks Preuss Pets 🙂
Want to get in touch with Preuss Pets or follow them along on these social media platforms?
Small Business Saturday
has been sponsored by Dan Riedel of RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals DeWitt