Five-star nutrition treatment for pets

By Juan Soto

All pets are welcome.

Pet Menu is celebrating its 25th anniversary and everyone is up for a party, and a bark.

A business that started as a small operation located across from the 111th Precinct on Northern Boulevard in Bayside has been expanding since, both in qualitative and quantitative terms.

“At the time we opened, there was not much around here when it came to high-end nutrition products for pets,” said Pet Menu owner Abe Kanfer. “We were pioneers in superior animal nutrition.”

The store, now located at 191-15 Northern Blvd., provides quality food products for dogs, cats, birds, fish, small animals and reptiles.

Kanfer said, for example, that Pet Menu has grain-free foods for dog and cats.

“They don’t need grains in their diets,” explained Kanfer. “We remove the grains because they are not necessary and replace them with potato, sweet potato or pumpkin.”

Back in September 1989, Kanfer saw the need for his kind of business operation. And soon after, he was already searching for more space..

“We outgrew the market and we had to find a bigger place,” he said.

That’s why he moved several blocks away from the original spot.

“The place we have now is three times bigger than the first location,” said Kanfer.

But finding the best nutrition for pets available is an ongoing quest. And at Pet Menu, every animal is treated individually.

“We try to get the right food for the right pet,” he said. “We learn what they prefer because not all dogs, for example, get the same type of food or the same answer.”

And when a pet is not feeling 100 percent, the store looks for solutions.

Pet Menu transforms itself into a doctor’s office in case animals have sensitive stomachs or are suffering from allergies, for example.

“We find solutions, but the pet owner must be willing to accept a strict change in the animal’s nutrition habits,” said Kanfer.

The staff is trained in nutrition. And when manufacturers come up with new and innovative products, the employees at Pet Menu participate in workshops to learn about the new foods and stay on top of the issues.

Basically all workers at the business are pet owners. Some employees specialize in reptiles, others in dogs and still others in cats.

The operation is a success and continues to grow.Over a year ago, Pet Menu expanded to New Hyde Park. As for the 25th anniversary, the store has been giving away raffles to its customers all year long.

“We also have tremendous sales going on,” said Kanfer.

He pointed out suppliers and manufacturers “put the best bargains out there for our customers. They helped us in being able to have the best prices for our products out there. We have better pricing,” Kanfer said.

The store also runs loyalty programs, frequent buyers’ initiatives and e-mail blasts.

“I think there are more pet owners than when we opened 25 years ago,” Kanfer said. “Now, more families are making their pets part of the family.”

Reach reporter Juan Soto by e-mail at jsoto‌@cngl‌ocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.