By Emily G. Peters
Tucked in an east Pasadena strip mall is My Pet Garden Pet Store and Spa, an oasis for all-things-dog-and-cat. This family-owned boutique started in 2008, just as the Great Recession was gaining sway. Though store owners Joel and Ruth Tatom knew they were going up against major challenges, their backgrounds helped the store find sure footing in the community.
“Joel was a zookeeper at the LA Zoo and a vet tech. He worked in pet stores his whole life. I had a strong corporate background working as Senior Vice President at Scripps Networks (HGTV, Food Network, etc.). Joel would go to the dog park, offering very discounted grooming services to get customers to follow him back to My Pet Garden. Despite all the odds being against us, we succeeded!”
The shop does it all. At its core, it’s a “garden” of pet essentials, carrying everything from toys to treats to grain free, organic and raw foods for the furbaby in your life. Their pet grooming services work to relax your pet before grooming without using harsh bathing or drying methods.
The rear of the colorful shop houses a gaggle of frolicking pups in their pet daycare and overnight boarding section. Each dog is screened for health and behavior to ensure the safest social environment possible. As part of their daycare service they offer two vet clinics a month, including anesthesia-free teeth cleaning and discounted vaccinations to keep your animal up to date. They even provide dog walking and off-site pet sitting for those who can’t make it to the shop.
Of course, they’re vigilant advocates for pet rescue. Dogs, kittens and cats from the Pasadena and Glendale Humane Societies, Lifeline for Pets and Mixed Mutts are all available for adoption at My Pet Garden. Ruth Tatom credits their near ten years of success (voted Pasadena’s “Best Pet Store” the last six years running) to their philosophy about pet ownership. “Knowledge is key to a happy pet parent, so we make sure we provide as much information as possible on nutrition and animal behavior so everyone is informed and can make the right decisions,” said Tatom. “We don’t upsell, undersell or carry anything we would not feed or give our own pets.”
The My Pet Garden team also sets the shop apart. Store manager Christina Pellegrino-Niels, for example, started working in the pet industry at an early age and has been an integral part of the MPG team for seven years. “In a way, when you’re talking to people about their pets, you’re talking about their kids,” said Tatom. “You can’t be rude or condescending; you have to be present and accessible to them. All of our team members share that vision.”
Like all entrepreneurs, the Tatoms look ahead to opening more My Pet Garden locations in the area. Until that time, their flagship location is a harbor for those seeking a safe, fun and social place for the furriest member of their family. All paws are welcome.
My Pet Garden is located at 2245 E. Colorado Blvd. Suite 106 in Pasadena. Learn about their many services for pet supplies, grooming, daycare and adoption at www.mypetgarden.com | (626)449-1600 | MyPetGardenTeam@gmail.com and follow them on Instagram and Facebook @MyPetGarden.