Claudia Baker with her black Lab Brodie and yellow Lab Rory
Claudia Baker’s Dog House and Cat Nip
BY JANICE LLANES FABRY
There are people persons and animal people and Claudia Baker happens to be both. The owner of All Paws Gourmet Pet Boutique welcomes the four-legged variety with as much gusto as she does all the pet lovers who walk through her door.
“All Paws is my heart and my expertise,” said Baker with her 5-year-old yellow Lab Rory and her 10-month-old black Lab Brodie at her feet. “I’ll do everything in my power to make your pets happier, healthier, and safer.”
It’s not unusual to overhear Baker sharing her extensive knowledge on the omega content of a particular dog food brand or an over-the-counter remedy with a customer.
One of her loyal clients, Sue Autry, with her Welsh Corgi in tow, attested, “I come here because Claudia is exceedingly helpful — and I can’t get her know-how anywhere else.
Next month, All Paws celebrates its 18th year on Purchase Street. How has the shop continued to thrive the surge of online shopping and a challenging retail environment? All of Baker’s customers will tell you that her secret is her innate and genuine concern for pets.
Baker has owned All Paws for 13. She became acquainted with the shop when the original owner hired her as her massage therapist. Subsequently, she’d shop at the store with Murphy, her black Lab at the time.
“The stars aligned and put me in Rye,” said Baker, who drives 45 minutes from her home in New Jersey every day. “When I learned the shop was for sale, I bought it for the immense love I have for pets. I love what I do.”
She certainly made the store her own and started carrying all-natural products that focus on the health and protection of animals, as well as affordable and made in the U.S. or Canada. On the nutrition side, she studied different brands for years and began stocking Annamaet dog food, one of only a handful of foods that is E.U. certified, holding pet food manufacturers to a more stringent standard. For cats, she prefers Fromm and Pure Vita, family-owned companies with controlled batches of foods with only wholesome ingredients.
“Good nutrition transfers into pets that have increased longevity, decreased vet visits, and decreased tumors,” remarked Baker. “The feedback from my customers and the results are undisputed.”
To make life a bit easier for patrons, six years ago she started curbside pick-up. All one has to do is call in an order, pull up at the backstairs on Locust Avenue, and the merchandise will be waiting. Need assistance carrying it in the trunk? She’s there to do it.
All Paws carries all-natural flea and tick shampoo and conditioners, some of which are safe for humans, too. Having done her research and learned that CBD oil offers such benefits as a decrease in cancer, seizures, arthritis, and anxiety, Baker stocked it long before it was the rage. Also on the shelves are glucosamine products for joint health and medicinal mushrooms to boost the immune system.
Of course, she also stocks a variety of fashionable furry and fleece coats, waterproof raincoats, plush bedding, Soggy Doggy highly absorbent doormats and towels, colorful leashes and collars, as well as chew toys and stuffed animals galore.
Lest the pet owners themselves feel neglected, Baker carries a treasure trove of breed-specific hand hooked pillows, mugs, frames, notecards, coasters, magnets, and plaques. For dog lovers, there is a “Life is Short, Play with Your Dog” T-shirt and for cat lovers, an “I Love Cats, It’s Humans That Annoy Me” version.
All Paws Gourmet Pet Boutique is located at 31 Purchase Street. For curbside pickup, call 921-1690. Hours: Monday-Friday 10-6, Saturday:10-5.