Since opening Bayou Pets in Destrehan 22 years ago, Janet and Brian Long have provided a one-stop shop for everything a pet owner or prospective pet owner needs.
“We have everything,” said Janet. “We have puppies, fish, birds … we’re about as full service as it gets.”
The two initially opened their shop after seeing a need for a pet store in the area. Brian notes that St. Charles Parish did not have another pet store open at the time.
“I couldn’t tell you if we were the first, but when we opened we were the only one in the parish,” he said.
Since then, the relationship between the store and its base of customers has remained strong, something both owners attribute to a good record of customer service, a strong selection and competitive pricing.
“The community is wonderful,” Janet said. “It really always has been.”
Experience is a plus, too: between them, the Longs have a combined 52 years in the business.
“Knowledge is very important, and we try to explain everything a customer needs to know as best we can,” Janet said. “It could be why someone’s dog is suffering from allergies, or skin problems, why he’s itching … building a trust (with the customers) is important to us.”
To that end, the two try to learn each customer by name and to let them know they care
“I normally know them even better by the name of their pets,” Janet quipped.
The store draws a steady stream of repeat business in St. Charles Parish but also outside of it, with customers making their way from Kenner, Metairie, New Orleans and further to stop in.
“We try to keep our prices lower than the big box stores,” Janet said. “Our animals are healthy and that’s incredibly important to us.”
Specials can often be found on Bayou Pets’ Facebook page as well.
The job is made much easier, Brian said, because the two of them genuinely love animals, allowing them to relate well to their customers and, perhaps more importantly, to their pets.
“We just love animals,” Brian said. “They’re fun and they’re stress relievers. And they’re ultimately what bring people in, even if it’s just to hang out. There are a lot of people who bring their kids and tell us it’s better than going to the zoo.”
Bayou Pets is located at 121 Ormond Center Ct. Suite K in Destrehan and can be reached at (985) 764-4400.