Woof ‘n Hoof: Not just for horses

New owners Patrick and Jacqueline Holton
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If it weren’t for a bad day at work, Patrick and Jacqueline Holton, new owners of the Woof ‘n Hoof, might not own the iconic Mint Hill pet and feed store.

After this now infamous bad day, Patrick, a veteran who had been in sales since leaving the military, got online looking for a new opportunity.  Mint Hill residents for five years, originally the Holtons were looking to bring something new to Mint Hill when they stumbled on the opportunity to buy “Pet Store, East Charlotte.”

“We weren’t allowed to find out what it was until we had signed nondisclosures,” explains Jacqueline, who was thrilled when she realized it was the Woof ‘n Hoof.  With “about 500 lbs of dog” in their house – 2 Newfoundlands and a Great Pyrenees – the Holtons were already customers.

The Holtons want Mint Hill to know that the Woof ‘n Hoof isn’t just for horses.  “Everybody knows the horse,” says Jacqueline.  “They think it’s a horse store.  But there’s also a lot of ‘woof!”  In fact, Woof ‘n Hoof carries supplies for dogs, rabbits, chickens, cats, birds, pigs and deer, to name a few.  “We pretty much touch every animal except reptiles,” says Patrick.  

Woof ‘n Hoof focuses on providing high quality and specialty brands, like Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo, and Diamond Care, at the best prices.  “If you need professional prescription dog food, it’s $100.00 for a 25 lb bag,” says Jacqueline, gesturing to Diamond Care, which comes recommended by her own dogs’ vet.  “This is basically the same thing for half the price.”

Woof ‘n Hoof has a large and growing selection of premium dog foods, but customers need not be limited by what they see on the shelves.  The Holtons are happy to special order whatever you need for your pet.

Woof ‘n Hoof hosted an open house on Saturday, October 21.

It’s individualized customer care like special orders, loading a car or fitting a pet for a collar that the Holtons hope will help them to stand out in the world of pet care.  The Holtons admit that Woof ‘n Hoof will never be PetSmart for space reasons alone, but they pledge to give Mint Hill’s pet owners the service that they may be missing at a big pet store at a competitive price.

Much about the historic Woof ‘n Hoof will stay the same under the new owners.  “It’s been Woof ‘n Hoof for twenty years,” says Jacqueline, noting the one-time pharmacy, diner, flower shop and feed store holds the distinction of being one of the first buildings in Mint Hill.  “The name is not going to change, the employees are staying.”

But the Holtons also hope to make changes to bring in more customers and improve their shopping experience.  At the top of their list is fixing the parking situation to allow customers to enter and exit more easily.  In the future, they’d like to offer a delivery service.

But what the Holtons want most of all is to raise awareness of what the Woof ‘n Hoof has to offer.  On Saturday, October 21, they held an open house to bring in people who may have lived in Mint Hill their entire life but never visited the Woof ‘n Hoof.  

Saturday’s open house featured a volunteer from animal control checking chips, Dixie Paw Rescue, Dr. Sokolove from Sycamore Animal Hospital, Classy Paws Pet Styling, the K-9 Institute, and Blitz the police dog.  The Holtons hope to host similar events monthly.

At the end of the day, Patrick and Jacqueline are proud to be joining Mint Hill’s business community.  “We literally cashed in our chips for this business,” says Patrick.  “We’re vested in it – in the community.”  Perhaps Jacqueline sums it up best: “This is our dream.  By shopping here, you’re supporting our dream.”

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: marybeth@minthilltimes.com