For many MU students, college is made better with a pet by their side. Being a pet owner also means being responsible for providing one’s pet with the best food and care possible. Fortunately, Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market is only a ten minute walk from MU’s campus.
Owner Jessica Schlosser knows it’s not just convenience that encourages college students to shop.
“We understand the college student budget well, so we make sure that we have the healthiest of pet products in a price range that students on a budget can afford,” Schlosser said. “We also try to work with apartment complexes to offer discounts to their residents or support pet-related contests they host for their residents.”
Lizzi & Rocco’s was opened in 2009 and since then they now have three storefronts, with their downtown location being their newest. They are the only locally owned, holistic-focused pet store in Columbia. According to Schlosser, their staff is incredibly knowledgeable about pet nutrition. They love walking pet owners through finding a diet that is as healthy as can be because that’s what Schlosser would want for her own pets.
“Lizzi & Rocco's is named after two of our dogs, and they truly were the inspiration behind our business,” Schlosser said. “[My husband and I] have always researched obsessively about the highest quality, healthiest products for them, and it only seemed natural for us.” The downtown location is a bright shop located at 1020 E Broadway. They sell MU dog toys, treats and more. Customers such as Nikki Bowman enjoy shopping there both for the atmosphere and for the animals.
“The last time I was there, they had a cat roaming around the store,” Bowman said. “I miss my cat from back home so much, so it was nice to get to pet a cuddly cat while I was there.”
What employee Andrea Ward believes sets Lizzi & Rocco’s apart is they are a family business. Ward believed in her friend’s business so much that she left her job in the finance industry in 2013 to come work for Lizzi & Rocco’s.
“Not only are we as coworkers a family unit, but we also become close to our customers,” Ward said. “We get to be friends with them, know about their pets, know about them. I think it’s really nice because people are always surprised that we remember their names, but it’s because we want to get to know them, and you don’t get that kind of experience when you go into a big box store.”
As a way to give back, Lizzi & Rocco’s hosts many events to support local animal-related charities. They will be a vendor at Second Chance's signature fundraiser, Paws in the Park, on Sept. 15. They are also hosting a fundraiser for The Spay Neuter Project at Logboat on Oct. 14. Additionally, in October there will be several pet photo fundraisers for local rescue groups. Schlosser considers the company fortunate to be able to donate thousands of dollars to local animal groups every year with the support of the Columbia community.
Edited by Alexandra Sharp | email@example.com