A Farmington family has taken up the torch of local animal lovers, after the company-owned Pet Valu closed in downtown Farmington Center.
Mom Angela Tolonen said there is no firm opening date for Tolonen Family Pet Shop, but the company’s Facebook page already has 500 followers. Customers also use the self-service dog wash stations left by Pet Valu.
“We are grateful and overwhelmed with the response we have received,” said Angela.
The decision to go into the business came after Angela switched to working from home, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As customers, the family were disappointed – but also intrigued – when Pet Valu closed.
“Pets have always been a hobby for us. We’ve had so many critters, ”she said. “My job is quite demanding and I was looking for some kind of business that we could enjoy together as a family. “
Tolonens eldest Allie, 21, was also “looking for something to eat,” Angela said.
The family discovered that closing Pet Valu was a business decision, not a lack of success. During several family reunions, the three Tolonen daughters got involved in the business, with Allie taking the lead. In addition to running the shop, she learns how to groom pets.
“It’s a big commitment,” Angela said. “Allie certainly did not disappoint us. She’s here every day.
Through an online survey, the Tolonens learned that some people feel “overpriced” by Pet Valu. They plan to offer items at different prices and invite customers to share their preferences.
Plans are underway for a grand opening celebration, starting in late April. To keep up with the store’s progress, follow us on facebook.com/Tolonen-Family-Pet-Shop-112200957617432