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Meet Lisa Di Pietro of The Pet Cabaret in Roslindale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Di Pietro.

Lisa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was working as a freelance producer and writer for film and video, mostly doing industrial and corporate work around Boston. The “other Lisa”, my partner, Lisa Schlossberg was working at a Web development company. Neither one of us was thrilled about what we were doing at the time and were brainstorming about what kind of a business we might like to try starting.

We were, and still are residents of Roslindale, and at that time there was a fair amount of vacant property in the area. There were frequent community meetings regarding just what to do with those properties. We were attending those meetings and one of the things that the community seemed to really want was a pet store.

Well both Lisa S. and I have always loved animals and I had lived on a little farm at one point. I really wanted to get back to being around animals more. I also felt that there wasn’t a pet store around that was concentrating on alternative health care options for pets, utilizing things like herbs and supplements to generate and maintain health rather than reaching for medicine all the time. I also wanted to learn more about that aspect of animal health.

So, perhaps a touch foolishly, we both quit our jobs, borrowed against our house and opened a tiny store in Roslindale Village in 2003. Naturally, everyone said we were crazy and to some degree, I guess we were. A touch of crazy doesn’t hurt when you’re opening a business. But here we are nearly fifteen years later and these days we don’t seem to look so crazy. The interest in natural pet foods and gentler pet care has definitely blossomed over the years and we’ve been privileged to be a small part of that growth.

Both of us really do care about our customers and their pets. We are residents of the community and take our commitment to it seriously and try to do the best we can. We also try to help animals get and stay healthy and have some fun while we’re at it.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it’s never totally smooth sailing and like the rest of life, that’s how we learn, right? We’ve made plenty of mistakes in everything from choosing inventory to hiring. Sometimes finances have been tough and we’ve worried many times about how we would pay for things. Somehow we continue to muddle through.

We just always try to learn from the mistakes we’ve made. I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to surprise ourselves with new ones.

The Pet Cabaret – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Well, we’re are a pet supply store that specializes in premium pet foods for companion animals. We choose our foods really carefully selecting products that are free of by-products and “junk” in general. We try to select foods, treats, and our other products from smaller, privately owned companies whenever we can.

We love knowing that so and so, an actual human being, makes a certain product that we carry, and that person cares as much about that product as we care about our store. We know that smaller companies tend to believe in and stand behind their products and that’s really important for us.

I think we’re probably most known for our ability to steer people and their pets towards healthy diets for their pets. We try to combine solid nutritional practices with herbals and other supplements to build and support health in all kinds of pets. For us, it’s about balance – it’s about seeing what’s right about an animal and trying to strengthen and support that, rather than look at what’s wrong with them and try to squash it.

We’re proud of the fact that we’ve actually have helped a good many animals live healthier, more comfortable, less chemically laden lives.

I think what sets us apart from others is the fact that we are willing to really work with our customers to help them find the best solutions for their pets’ problems. It often takes a great deal of patience on everyone’s part to achieve results, but it’s very rewarding if we can help an animal live a better life.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I don’t know that there’s been one single “proudest moment” for us. I think I would just have to say again, that we both get the biggest thrill out of knowing we’ve actually helped an animal feel better.

So when someone comes to us and says, “My dog or cat is doing so much better!”, it’s just the best feeling. It makes us feel as though we make a bit of a difference.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Bob Quinn , Lisa Di Pietro

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