SBA award winners: The Holistic Pet Center
It took an unfortunate event for Charles “Chip” Sammons to find his calling. “When my Boxer was 4 ½ years old, he died of cancer,” he says. “Being a relational kind of guy and not wanting another dog or cat to die young, I began researching dog and cat nutrition.”
Sammons was convinced the additives in store-bought food played a role in his dog’s early death, which lead him to open The Holistic Pet Center, a “health food store for pets” in Clackamas, Ore, that specializes in nutritious food for dogs and cats.
After 23 years in business, Sammons won Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration for the state of Oregon and will be a contender for the national title at the SBA’s National Small Business Week conference, May 20-22 in Washington D.C.
Sammons’ website says his goal is to “help consumers look past the advertising and at the actual ingredients that our companion pets are ingesting, and then to provide those healthy alternatives that strengthen the immune system and promote overall health and vitality.”
The Holistic Pet Center sells dog and cat foods that are free of preservatives, sugar and nitrates, and contain no artificial colors, flavors or byproducts. Sammons also started Vetline Veterinary Vitamins, a vitamin line that contains 100 percent food grade ingredients.
The Holistic Pet Center opened in 1988 and Sammons’ business continues to thrive. His retail space has doubled and he has several employees despite tough economic times.
Sammons’ says his products speak for themselves. “Our business has been successful because people keep coming back. We take care of issues and concerns, and dogs and cats do better than before they came here.” He also credits his success to his employees for their top-notch service and knowledgeable advice.
Aside from winning Oregon’s Small Business Person of the Year, Sammons won Specialty Store of the Year in 2000, and Holistic Pet Business of the Year in 2006 and 2009. He was named one of Oregon’s 50 great leaders by the Oregon Business Magazine.
Sammons, who will be leading the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening ceremony of the National Small Business Week conference, says he feels “honored and humbled” after the big win. “I’m honored because there are a whole lot of great small business owners here in Oregon, and humble because I’m just a regular guy doing what I believe in.”
For more information, tune in to Sammons radio show “Pet Nutrition and News with Chip Sammons" on KPAM 860 AM in Oregon on Saturday mornings from 8-9.
Since 1963, the U.S. SBA has used the National Small Business Week to recognize small business owners and entrepreneurs in all 50 states and U.S. territories. The majority of businesses on Angie’s List are small businesses and, as a former small business itself, Angie’s List is happy to join with the SBA to celebrate these companies and highlight the importance they play in each of their communities.