When World War II Army Air Forces servicemen Mort Davis and Jac Cohen returned to the US in 1945, they teamed up to start Pet Pantry Warehouse in Greenwich, inspired by a puppy that Davis adopted in wartime England. Pet food and other merchandise, kept on pallets in the back of the store, had to be requested by runners.
That changed when they sold the then-six-employee business to Barry Jacobson and his sons Adam and Ari in 1995. The new owners opened up the 12,000-square-foot store so that customers could see everything they were selling.
To stand out in a crowded field, Pet Pantry was an early adopter of natural, holistic, and all-natural pet foods—with a large selection of US-made brands. “By focusing on high-quality, natural pet foods, we were the first to market many of the top brands before they became commonplace,” says Adam, executive vice president. Pet Pantry is known in the community for its support of local animal groups, such as Adopt-A-Dog, Cat Assistance, Greyhound Rescue, The Good Dog Foundation, Stray’s and Others, and Pet Rescue.
The company’s approach has won it many fans. It has grown to 45 employees at five stores: Rye and Larchmont in Westchester, and Greenwich, New Canaan, and Wilton in Fairfield. Pet Pantry is now finishing construction of a sixth store, in Riverside, CT, and shows no signs of slowing down. “We are looking to continue to grow in other close-knit communities within Westchester and Fairfield,” says Adam.