Through the recent transitions at Keystone Pet Place in downtown Mount Joy, one thing has remained a constant – service.
Yes, it’s service with a smile, and yes, they will carry your bags for you and offer a friendly thank you.
But it’s more than that. This is personal for owner Nelson Shertzer, store manager April Ruhl and their staff of 13 at the full-service pet food and supply store that serves the Mount Joy, Elizabethtown and the surrounding Lancaster area.
Keystone carries everything from pet food and bird seed to small animals and equine/chicken feed and supplies.
“This is more than just a job,” assistant store manager Corrine Davis says. “This is a personal investment for us. We want to have the products that our customers come in for. We ask about the needs of their pet, and we listen. Then we take our training and experience and recommend solutions.”
“We care, first of all,” says Mandy Weber, Shertzer’s daughter, who also serves as one of the three assistant managers with Davis and Ambyr Robinson. “Sometimes all they need is someone to care, and we want to help them and their pets.”
That emphasis on service is what Shertzer, a Lancaster County native and owner of a farm, has relied on while moving Keystone Pet Place into its new location at 100 W. Main St. in downtown Mount Joy.
Shertzer is a local businessman who was a customer of the former store. He purchased the business three years ago and initiated a plan to rebuild the financial aspect of the store, while strengthening what Keystone has always done best – customer service.
A location change, a building renovation, new services and a new parking lot later, Shertzer and Keystone Pet Place are ready for their grand opening in May with the desire to show off to customers everything they have to offer.
“The staff is one of the definite differences here,” Shertzer says. “We have core values here that drive what we do; “Friendly, Knowledgeable, Helpful.”
“When I hire someone, I emphasize integrity and honesty … the principles that, as a Christian, I desire to uphold. That’s what we ask for from our young and talented staff.” Keystone focuses on quality and knowledge, especially when dealing in areas like the competitive pet food market. Brands like Annamaet, Verus, Merrick, Fromm, Blue Buffalo, and Taste of the Wild are highlighted in the store and on the store’s extensive and easy-to-use website at www.keystonepetplace.com.
“Dog food is like the bread and milk of the grocery store,” Shertzer said. “It’s important to customers that they can trust us to provide the highest quality pet food. We have several exclusive house brands that our own staff feed their personal pets. We want to have confidence in what we promote.”
Keystone’s relationship with those brands goes beyond buyer and seller. Rob Downey, the owner of Annamaet Pet Food, provided a seminar for the store employees to teach them about the brand, something that Ruhl has set up with many of the brands they sell.
“We do a lot of self-training,” explained Weber. “Because we are all about the customer, we try to do the research for them, we try to have answers.”
But this goes beyond just pet food and supplies. Keystone offers pet grooming options, dog training classes with local expert Kay Ames, a pet vaccine clinic once a month, dog licenses, and nail trimming.
“This isn’t just a place you pick up your pet food,” office manager Jeanne Calhoun said. “This has been a dynamic environment all the way around here. We’ve made a lot of changes, and we focus on high-end personal service.”
Making its debut during the grand opening in May will be Zoey’s Pet Wash, a coin-operated pet wash with expanded hours located off the main parking lot next to the store. The booth features a clean walk-in area with a tub capable of handling various sizes of pets.
“This is becoming a trend across the country,” Shertzer says. “My goal was to make this area an environment like your own bathroom. We purchased a top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art device that had fantastic results in all the research we did.”
The pet wash is a highlight of the recent renovations, but the new 17-space paved parking lot will have the most immediate impact for customers navigating downtown Mount Joy.
The building Shertzer took over was built in 1910 and had been an abandoned corner lot previously occupied by Rutts Appliance, among other businesses over the years.
Shertzer loved the history and the location of the building, so he initiated a major renovation project maintaining the historical integrity of the building while providing a clean, open store area inside and out.
“I want Keystone Pet Place to be a pillar in downtown Mount Joy,” Shertzer says. “There is a great deal of satisfaction for me to see this building preserved and be home to a viable business in the downtown.”
“We are now in what we hope to be our final home and couldn’t be happier with the outcome,” says Robinson. “We would never recommend something we wouldn’t feel comfortable giving and feeding our own pet. They’re our family and we know most of our customers feel the same way!”
Keystone Pet Place is committed to the community and to you and your pet. We welcome your leashed pet to join you for your shopping experience-after all, wouldn’t you want to pick out your own treats?
Keystone Pet Place Address: 100 West Main Street, Mount Joy, Pa. 17552
Contact: Phone - 717-492-0027; Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday – closed
Online: www.keystonepetplace.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/KeystonePetPlace
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