By Lorraine Briscoe
Last November Mark Belliveau (Marco), the original owner of Pur Animal, the pet supply store in West Brome, sold his business after an impressive 22 years. As Marco tells the story he woke up one day and made the decision to sell. Before he had a chance to work his way through his list of potential buyers, Liza Paré, whom he was acquainted with through supplier events over the years, coincidentally called him to discuss the possibility of buying his business. It was meant to be!
The new owners of Pur Animal: Liza Paré, her nephew Yanik Paré and his partner Sylvie Proulx, come with experience in the business as they are the owners of A.S.C. in Sherbrooke, a similar but larger business that Liza’s father started in 1968. The new team quickly took over the empty space next door to offer an equestrian line of products. Hence the new life-size horse outside the now very visible well-located store. Sylvie credits Liza’s equestrian expertise for making this new product line possible as it is a very particular business. Despite the cancellation of equestrian events this season due to the pandemic, Sylvie says they are pleased with how the new line is going.
Unfortunately, their plans for a grand opening in May, and visits to stables in the area, had to be cancelled but they were relieved that they were allowed to remain open during the lockdown. They have been relying on social media to get the word out to customers.
Pur Animal has since been computerized. Marco relied on his keen eye to note when items had to be reordered by phone (he proudly does not use email to this day). Online shopping is also now available. When asked if finding staff for the store is a challenge, like it is for some other local businesses, Sylvie said “we are very privileged because we sell happiness and that is enticing for employees.” Sylvie says she appreciates Pur Animal clients because they are generally willing to spend more time in the store and this allows for opportunities to create a connection.
It looks like Pur Animal customers can expect the same attentive and personal service they came to count on with Marco.