Betty & Wilma's Pet Supply

Betty & Wilma's offers locally sourced healthy pet food

15224 E Hampden Ave Aurora, CO 80013

303-927-7035 | Visit Website

Eating locally and healthfully can be a challenge. Finding low-cost pet food that allows your dog to do the same can be impossible. Carl and Pam Holzapfel offer an alternative to conscientious pet owners seeking high quality food at an affordable price. With the help of the Aurora Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a satellite office of the South Metro Denver SBDC, Carl and Pam opened Betty & Wilma's Pet Supply at the Southwest corner of Hampden & Chambers in Aurora, CO.

“We’ve done a lot of research about ingredients to know how people can feed their pets a healthy diet and not go broke,” said Pam.

"We went to a few workshops, they were invaluable to us. The amount of information, the content….things you would never think of,”
Pam Holzapfel
After spending years in the corporate world, Carl and Pam decided to start their own business. Their mutual love of their dogs Betty and Wilma, the store’s namesakes, created the idea for a pet store. Having never owned a business, the Holzapfel’s turned to the Aurora SBDC for assistance. Carl and Pam built their business through the SBDC beginning with a “Starting a Business” workshop in July 2013. They continued their education with sales, finance, and a business planning workshop.

“We went to a few workshops, they were invaluable to us. The amount of information, the content….things you would never think of,” said Pam. “From the beginning we learned how to dissect the business by talking about demographics, marketing, and finances.”

Following the workshops they began writing their business plan. When they became overwhelmed they turned to SBDC consultants who broke the plan down into pieces. They also met with an SBDC marketing specialist who introduced them to new social media techniques and helped them think outside the box. They now have a large following of newsletter subscribers whom they email monthly coupons and updates. They also take turns wearing a dog suit and waving to traffic for silly but inexpensive exposure. In addition, the SBDC urged them to reach out to local media which yielded stories in both the Denver Post and the Aurora Sentinel.

“Our concept was to be the little Ace Hardware of pet stores and a local neighborhood place where we could get to know people and their animals,” said Pam. The store will not stock pet foods with soy, wheat or corn, which are heavily used as fillers by big-name brands. They have also started to expand their offerings to include small animal food and accessories, including cats, rabbits and guinea pigs.

The Holzapfel’s plan to continue using SBDC services in the future for expansion, marketing, or other needs. As Pam said, “There’s enough you have to learn the hard way; it’s nice to have an idea of what you’re getting into.”

“Carl and Pam have worked very hard to launch their business and are strategic in asking for the right assistance at the right time to move forward,” said Marcia McGilley, executive director of the Aurora SBDC.

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