Rawkstar Retailer – Bones 2 Go

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Rawkstar Retailer – Bones 2 Go

Bones 2 Go

Bones 2 Go (B2G) was started to provide a “one stop shop” for raw feeders and people curious about raw food to get knowledgeable support about how to switch, what to feed and why a raw diet was better for the lives of their pets. Tracey and her husband Allan, the owners, wanted to provide a great selection of raw food items to cater to all who wanted to improve their pets’ diets, from commercial conveniently packaged food all the way through to large bulk cases for the DIY raw feeder. Tracey’s passion was to teach everyone how to make their own food combinations with bulk cases so that ultimately, there would be no need for their services… spoiler alert, that is not what happened.

20 Years Ago

Bones 2 Go opened with a soft opening in 2002 as a home based business. It quickly outgrew the tiny space set aside at Tracey’s home and she moved into a brick and mortar commercial building in August of 2003. Next year B2G will be celebrating 20 years of successful business.

Why

“Unlike 90% of the “why” stories, we really did, legitimately have very few raw food choices back when we opened. It was during the ascent of the popularity of considering the “give your dog a bone” movement lead by Dr Ian Billinghurst’s (book of the same title). While many old school breeders and owners had always had a little raw or cooked stew in their feeding rotation, I don’t think any other person single handedly had such a broad influence on the interest in putting something better in our pet’s bowls than Dr Billinghurst’s did. I was tired of spending all my time driving from one grocery store to another to assemble everything I needed to meal prep my dog’s food and thought, wouldn’t it be great to have a grocery store just for pets? There wasn’t one, so I created one!”

The Owners

The owners of B2G are a husband and wife team. “Myself, Tracey, who runs the business, selects the products and does all the “business” and “fun” related portions of the store. And husband Allan, my partner in every sense of the word, helps me with a behind the scenes. A shoulder to cry on when things don’t go well, is my greatest cheerleader regardless of how things are going, and does all my technical support and more. But really, the co-owners of the business have also been incredible and every single person that has walked through the door for the past 20 years, for good or bad, each has contributed something to what is B2G. Whether it was customers, suppliers, vendors, reps or employees, each has left a little piece of themselves here and I am thankful for the lessons learned, the lessons taught, and the friendships made.” (Tracey)

What makes B2G unique?

Having a personal touch experience is what sets B2G apart from other stores and Tracey is a huge part of that, being able to make good decisions for her customers with a hands on approach. “Not to be immodest, but first and foremost, I believe I am what makes B2G unique. I have ultimate control over the curation of what we offer, the decisions for what we don’t offer and the advice and support we give as well as the entire customer experience offered.” (Tracy). Aside from that, they strive to offer a fun and exciting venue that specializes in raw feeding for customers to come to, enjoy their time finding what they need and what they didn’t know they needed until they got here.

“We don’t LOOK like a typical pet supply store, and we are not!” (Tracy). When you walk into B2G, you will notice they have two large walks in freezers with 20 glass doors and an additional 14 free standing freezers on the shop floor for customers to shop from. They have a very, very small selection of dry dog and cat food only kept for natural disasters from tropical storms causing power outages that last up to 3 weeks where frozen raw would not suffice. They don’t even sell canned dog food at all.

Shopping Local

“There are some things that you just can’t get ‘off the internet’. When you support your local store, you are developing a relationship, understanding who you are talking to and that you can trust them, they will remember you and your interactions, your dogs and their needs and quirks. Your local store is more willing to find a special product for you and order it and hold things for you because of that relationship. Local shopping provides jobs for local people in the community, opportunities to support local events – both pets related, and non-pet related that improve the community” (Tracy).

Giving Back to the Community

B2G does a lot to give back to their community inside their doors and out. “At Bones 2 Go we are able to provide well-paying jobs to our employees in our community. We offer discounts and ‘damaged’ goods to our rescue groups that shop with us. There are also adoption event opportunities for local groups to show case their available animals. We provide raw food deliveries to events held locally so out of town visitors are still able to get raw food for their pets when away from home. We offer educational events from learning about essential oils and how to use with our pets, to basic raw feeding education and soon teaching opportunities for local instructors in basic obedience, nose work and more” (Tracy).

The B2G Team

Since the pandemic, lots of things have shifted. However, B2G has been able to push through with a few key people. “My production crew Alex and Noy, has been with me almost the entire 20 years I have been in business and my office manager, Paula has been with me for almost 15 years. My retail side was steady and consistent the first 15 years I was open, but in the past five years there has been a change in how people view retail work… sadly, “service” today tends to be looked down upon as a career choice… I am optimistic that as things improve, we will be able to add more great people to our team. I am blessed to have found Chandler who is running the store for me now. She has the can do attitude that is needed for success, and I wish I could clone her!” (Tracey).

“I would like to say that my success is not achieved alone. Aside from my team, my customers are the reason B2G exists at all. I am also grateful for the partnership with NWN, and that is what it is, a partnership. I am specifically grateful for the love and support shown to us by our sales Rep Melissa B. She has made an amazing connection with us here at B2G and is always available to answer a question, find the answer to a question if she doesn’t know it herself, and offers amazing cheerleading and support for your brand to be a success in our store” (Tracey).

Favorite Northwest Naturals Products

“My dogs current favorite product is the Bulk Lamb Bars – it is by far their favorite protein and my husband loves the convenience of the bars – easy to get out of the box frozen to defrost for the next day, easy to measure (count) how many pounds you want at a time and they are great value for money – plenty of meat and almost no “juice” sitting in the container after they defrost” (Tracey).

“I really don’t think any ONE product sells the best because you have so many options for us to choose from and we have so many diverse customers, everyone thinks they get the best NWN product and none of them are wrong!” (Tracey).

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Facebook – Bones2Go

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