Animal lovers know Joanna Jacobs as something of a pet expert, whose knowledge, compassion, and remarkable affinity with animals fulfills all their pet needs at All Paws.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Animal lovers know Joanna Jacobs as something of a pet expert, whose knowledge, compassion, and remarkable affinity with animals fulfills all their pet needs at All Paws. Just one conversation with her reveals that she’s a people person, too.
It was a serendipitous visit to All Paws that brought her to Purchase Street to stay. “I walked into the shop a few years ago and recognized Claudia right away,” she said referring to storeowner Claudia Baker. “I hadn’t seen her in 25 years, but she hadn’t changed a bit. I met her when I was 12 at boarding school in Massachusetts.”
A few puppy play dates with their Labradors Finnegan and Murphy and several girls’ nights out later, their friendship was renewed. When the shopkeeper asked Jacobs if she’d like to help out at the store, she agreed and two years later, she’s still there.
After spending the previous 15 years as a margin analyst for J.P. Morgan, Jacobs said she’d “had enough of the finance industry. It was a matter of quality of life. I was ready to move on to a friendlier place.”
Following in her father’s footsteps, Jacobs had worked in the finance industry since the late 1990s. Before ever working on stock transactions and wealth management, however, it was her vocal chords that were her biggest asset. While at the University of Southern California (“Go Trojans”), the California native sang in community theater productions. She loved it so much that upon moving to New York City, she joined the St. Patrick’s Cathedral choir. “I miss that more than anything,” she admitted.
While navigating her new life back on the East Coast, Jacobs discovered she also had a flair for catering and studied at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School. She went on to work for Flavors, a popular New York City special events caterer. She so enjoyed catering events at SoHo art galleries, private fundraisers, and a Garth Brooks concert in Central Park that she decided to start her own service.
“I loved it, but it got crazy cooking in a small New York City apartment. That’s when I went on to work at a brokerage firm and earned my Series 7 license,” said Jacobs.
These days she’s quite content working with her old friend at All Paws. “I’ve had dogs all my life, so I feel qualified to help people with their pets. Claudia is the pet food master, but I understand their nutritional needs, too,” she said. “Besides, I love animals and we have wonderful people coming in here.”