Truckee pet store owners open new grooming location in Glenshire
December 7, 2015
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Opening a new business or expanding an existing one in Truckee or Lake Tahoe requires a high level of commitment, a vast knowledge of the industry and a giant leap of faith.
It's by no means an easy feat, but the undoubtedly risky process can be more manageable with an extra set of paws.
At least that's the case for Arlene and Gerald Morero, who have taken on the dog-eat-dog world of pet retail with the launch of their new Glenshire location, Dogshire Pet Store and Grooming.
"It's a labor of love," said Arlene, who also owns Scraps Pet Store and Grooming on Donner Pass Road in Truckee. "We put everything we had into this store, but when you want something bad enough and you believe in it and you're willing to work hard, the outcome can be that much more rewarding."
The success of their new Glenshire location is contingent upon the joint effort between Arlene and her husband of 12 years, Gerald, who left his previous job to focus on building the family business alongside his wife.
"Even though we've been together for so long, this makes us feel more like a team than we have before," said Arlene, who spends most of her time at Scraps while Gerald oversees the new Dogshire store. "It feels kind of like it's us against the world and it would be a completely different experience without him, and I'm grateful for that."
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The duo of dog lovers met in Arlene's hometown of San Diego, where they began building a life and a family together.
With two sons in tow, the Moreros occasionally left the California coast to visit Gerald's family in Incline Village, but the idea of living in the snow-clad, seasonal community was not always in the cards for the young couple.
"It was fun spending vacations in North Lake Tahoe, but I was a city girl at heart and I didn't think I would ever enjoy living in such a small town," Arlene said.
But the 2008 recession changed the course of life for countless people, the Moreros included, and in the wake of those changes, the couple made the decision to slow down the speed of city life by relocating to Truckee.
"The first year was a little hard for me because it was such a big adjustment, but it grew on me pretty quickly," Arlene said. "Nowadays, I can't imagine living in a city again — I love the seasons and I love our community, but mostly I love that our kids have learned a completely different way of life where you're respectful to your neighbors and you work hard for what you have."
'ANIMALS COME FIRST'
Those elements of small-town living have continued to prove valuable for the Moreros, who relied on the help and support of their friends, neighbors and family when opening their second pet supply and grooming store.
Located next to the Glenshire General Store, getting the Dogshire location up and running required major renovations to the existing space, which had remained vacant for the past four years.
"There isn't a single surface in here that we didn't touch and we basically had to gut the entire place," Gerald said.
After months of hard labor, long days and late nights, the couple opened up shop in March, and have experienced a month-by-month growth in sales ever since.
"There are still people who don't know we exist, but every day at least one person will tell me how convenient it is to have us here, and that's awesome," Gerald said.
As longtime residents, parents and dog owners in Glenshire, the Moreros were driven by a desire to provide their neighbors with a convenient, affordable, customer-friendly and — most importantly — all-natural pet supply store.
"We're not in the business of selling unhealthy or unnatural pet food for a profit," said Gerald, who goes out of his way to offer home-delivery services to a few elderly Glenshire customers. "It's all about hearing what the customer wants, and bringing that to them, so long as it's in line with our philosophy of supporting high-quality products."
'LONGER, BETTER LIVES'
Both Scraps and the Dogshire offer the same professional grooming services, but the selection of products varies depending on the vastly different clientele base and the customer feedback received at each location.
In spite of those differences, there's one similar ingredient behind every dog, cat, horse, guinea pig, rabbit or fish food that lines the shelves at each store, and that's the commitment to offering healthy, all-natural, responsibly-made products.
"I've personally seen the way a dog's diet can have a positive or negative affect on their health, and I truly believe that all-natural foods can help them live longer, better lives," Arlene said. "At the end of the day, the animals have to come first and we won't compromise on that."
Jenny Goldsmith is a North Tahoe-based freelance writer and a former reporter for the Sierra Sun newspaper. Have an idea for a merchant to feature? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.