Treats on a Leash, Ames
They are the only independent pet store located in Ames. Michael, Barb, and their entire staff pride themselves on their knowledge of pets and top-quality customer service. They are located on Main Street, a vibrant business district that helps to attract customers to the store, where they can find cat and dog supplies. Gourmet dog treats are a customer favorite.
Surviving the pandemic and having strong business years in 2020 and 2021 was a success for Barb and Michael. Even with COVID-19 forcing many businesses to shut down, Treats on a Leash did not have to as an essential business. In 2020, many adjustments had to be made to keep customers and employees safe, including contactless payment, curbside pickup, and free delivery. With the success of 2020, Michael and Barb were able to purchase a delivery vehicle for Treats on a Leash. This delivery vehicle is used for only deliveries and pays for itself. Many people are still taking
advantage of the free delivery in Ames.
Michael and Barb are passionate about helping all animals in their community. They can donate to many pet-related causes in the Ames area. Recently, two clubs at Iowa State who work with rescue pets and pets that come into the vet hospital, received donations from Treats on a Leash. Animals that go into the Iowa State Vet Hospital in the cardiac care and oncology departments are treated to Treats on a Leash treat donations. Boone, Ames, and the Story County animal shelters are also frequent recipients of donations from Michael, Barb, and Treats on A Leash.
Michael offers some advice to anyone looking to start their own small business. “Do your homework. Learn as much as you can about the market and your competitors. Learn about the customers you would like to attract, but most importantly, do your homework first,” said Michael. “The help that we got from those at the ISU SBDC office was invaluable. We were able to fine-tune our business plan and were given the confidence that we had something we could turn into a business,” says Michael about the help Treats on A Leash has received from SBDC. Michael adds, “talk to the SBDC if you are looking to start a small business.”