Michele Zigrossi is passionate about nutrition, and holds a bachelors of science in human food nutrition. After working with people for a number of years, her love of animals eventually prompted Michele to shift her focus from human health to pet health. In 2010, The Natural Pet Center in Gardiner opened for business.
“Working with the health and nutrition of animals, for me, made a lot of sense,” Michele explains. “You see the results more, and quicker. People also listen to you much more with their pets than they do with themselves. I can tell somebody how they should eat, and I can tell somebody how they should feed their dog. They’ll feed their dog, but they won’t necessarily do what I tell them to do for themselves.”
As it turns out, The Natural Pet Center is actually the Zigrossi family’s second animal-based business. Michele and her husband purchased a feed supply business roughly seven years before opening their store in Gardiner.
“My husband was working for John Deere,” Michele says. “He was travelling a lot, was all over the country, and we were looking for something where he could be home every night with the kids and me. Eventually we purchased Heritage Feed and Supply in Bullville.”
The couple’s two teenaged boys are also regular employees at both locations.
“Our other store is more of a feed store that sells pet food, whereas I’m a pet store that sells feed,” she says. “I wanted to do more and branch out more into the dog and cat realm, and into the small animal realm.”
Visitors to The Natural Pet Center will notice the large warehouse attached to the shop. In addition to carrying dog and cat food, the warehouse is also stocked with goat, horse, chicken, and sheep feed.
Michele says that investing in high-quality pet food often results in happier pets with fewer health problems.
“There’s a lot of people who go to the supermarket and pick up food because it’s inexpensive and it’s easy, but I have things here that have glucosamine and that don’t have corn,” says Michele. “I have better mixes that really help your pets in the long run. If they’re happy, you’re happy. An itchy pet is not a happy pet. A dog that’s limping often doesn’t need to limp.”
Elevating your pet’s nutrition is also a lot less expensive than people think.
“There’s a lot of things in a great price range that will help your pet live a better life,” Michele says. “We also have offers where if you buy ten or buy twelve of a product, you get one free. That really adds up. I try to make sure that my customers take advantage of all of the programs that I have available to them. It’s so simple. It’s something you can do for them every day, and it’s easy. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.”
The Natural Pet Center is located at 609 Route 208 in Gardiner. For business hours and more, visit thenaturalpetcenter.com or call 845-255-7387.
This feature is part of the Hudson Valley Pollinator Series, a tribute to the individuals and businesses that are forging the way to a more resilient and self-reliant economy through their boldness, innovation, and continued care for the people and environment around them.