Realizing that the Route 24 area needed a local pet shop, Joan Hall and Ginny Harding last month opened Crazy Grannies’ Pet Supplies.
“We were working up in Pennsylvania,” recalled Hall. “Both of our husbands were disabled, and we both had places down here for weekends or whatever. But we ended up moving down here for them. We were commuting to King of Prussia, driving up every Tuesday and back on Friday evenings for seven years.
“The whole time we were down here, the closest pet store was Concord Pets on Route 1,” Hall noted. “This highway gets crowded, and you have to sit in the traffic, and in the summertime it gets worse.
“One weekend, we didn’t get down there, so Ginny’s husband was going to go get the food, but he didn’t want to drive down to [Route] 1, so he didn’t go get this puppy food we had been feeding them,” she explained. “Instead, he went to the grocery store and bought something else, and they ended up getting diarrhea and the whole bit.”
After that, Harding and Hall began looking for other pet shops, and when Hall lost her job, the two decided that now was the time to do it.
“We decided to call it ‘Crazy Grannies’’ because we’re both up there in years and we’re both crazy,” said Hall, noting that the two are wearing crazy hats in the design on their logo. “We wore these hats on opening day. We actually went to Disney, and we were in the store trying on hats. My husband took a picture of us. We looked crazy. It was a crazy picture, and we decided to use it to represent how crazy we actually are.”
Crazy Grannies’ offer supplies for cats, dogs, fish, birds and small animals. They stock everything from food and pet clothing to keychains and dog tags.
“We try to stock a little bit of everything. We’re asking our customers to please give us input as to what their needs are,” said Harding. “We just got in clothes. We like to put clothes on our dogs, so we’ve got a selection of clothes for them. We hope to have a little bit of everything.”
Hall said the two women are trying to stick with U.S. produced, holistic-type foods for pets and, when possible, want to stock local products. They currently carry the all-natural Tail Bangers cookies, Beverdam and Blue Buffalo pet foods.
“Basically, we’ve done a lot of it on customer request,” said Harding of the store’s current stock.
Hall and Harding have also been asking their growing customer base to send in photos of their pets to help decorate the store, and they have received an overwhelming response.
“They’re part of our family here,” said Hall. “The people have been wonderful. We’ve only just opened on the 9th. The community here — so far everybody that has come in seems to be loving it.”
Pets are welcome to visit the store with their owners, and Harding and Hall have their own little shop dogs, 6-year-olds Pebbles and Bamm Bamm, who are sister and brother, respectively.
“You get unconditional love,” Hall said of having a pet. “There’s no place else you’re going to get that. You walk in the door at night, the first person that greets you is your pet. They’re great company and they don’t ask for much.”
Hall said that she and Harding still have a lot to learn but will be continuing to go to pet expos and shows, and speaking to their knowledgeable clientele.
“People like to come in and talk about their animals, so we like to put the personal touch on it,” said Hall. “We like to learn from them.”
“I think we want to keep it as homey as we can,” said Harding. “The hope is really to fulfill the needs of our clients’ pets. We’re not looking to become a Petco or a PetSmart. We’re looking to be your neighborhood pet shop.”
Crazy Grannies’ Pet Supplies is located at 26582 John Williams Highway, Route 24, in Millsboro. The store is currently open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call (302) 945-5323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.