Veteran’s Day is a time when the country proudly recognizes and honors those who have served our country. Their sacrifices have protected our freedoms, freedoms including the “American Dream” of owning and operating a business.
Loveland’s D.O.G.S. (Dog Owners General Store), started by owners Brandon and Cionne Lauzun, is a high-end pet boutique with a full-service grooming salon located in the Promenade Shops at Centerra. November is a special month for the business due to Veteran’s Day. Brandon served in the U.S. Army and is proud to run a veteran-owned business.
“Being a veteran-owned business is amazing. There are a lot of opportunities for veterans to get assistance when starting and operating a business,” Brandon said. “We get to interact with a lot of veterans and active-duty military members every day. We are always open and willing to be a support system to any veteran looking to start their own business!”
Brandon decided to join the military with a childhood friend. The duo joined together and completed basic training at the same time. After his basic training in Fort Leonard Wood in the Missouri Ozarks, where Brandon trained to be a combat engineer, he was assigned to Fort Riley, Kan. It was there that Brandon spent four years before embarking upon a yearlong combat tour in Iraq.
It was thanks to his time in the military that Brandon met his wife and future business partner, Cionne, who helped him transition from military life to civilian life and the challenges that can bring. Brandon said she has been his rock and plays a large part in their business’ success.
D.O.G.S. was started by a previous owner who had a passion for pets. The Lauzun’s acquired the business with the help of Brandon’s veteran status that gave the couple access to business loans that wouldn’t have been available otherwise. That was 10 years ago, and now the couple and business are facing one of their biggest challenges with the pandemic.
“Our foot traffic has definitely slowed down,” Cionne said. “With the pandemic, our customers have been wanting to shop more online. We listened to them and decided to take our store online. We currently sell a significant amount of products through our website and even offer food delivery service with an option to set up recurring delivery like Chewy and Amazon!”
Like many businesses that were impacted by the unexpected pandemic, Brandon and Cionne refused to give up or throw in the towel. They were able to change, adapt and navigate the new way of doing business in 2020 successfully.
It’s their unique ability to adapt and listen to customers while providing good, friendly service that sets D.O.G.S. apart from other pet stores. The food and treat education D.O.G.S. provides is also something customers love in addition to their convenient and accessible location within Centerra.
The Promenade Shops at Centerra, located on the northeast corner of Interstate-25 and Highway U.S. 34, is an open-air lifestyle center offering clothing, footwear and jewelry shops along with a movie theater, restaurants and more.
Cionne’s favorite part of her job is interacting with customers, especially those that have been loyal and consistent over the years. “I enjoy seeing them and catching up with them. It’s like we have another little family that is made up of regulars. In fact, when we became Larimer County foster parents, we received a generous amount of donated clothes and formula for our foster son from our local customer-base, ” Cionne said with gratitude.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, D.O.G.S. will be running a 15% off promotion on all bully sticks and bagged treats, which is in addition to their normal discount of 10% for all veterans in-store products and grooming.
“Veterans Day is for celebrating those who have given part of their lives for their country. These veterans were away from family, friends and all support systems for a long time. Veterans Day is our chance to show veterans we appreciate and understand their sacrifice,” said Brandon. “It’s a great way to honor those who have served or are currently serving. We think it’s important to honor that.”
So, this November take a moment to thank a veteran for their service and consider supporting a veteran-owned business like D.O.G.S. not just this month but throughout the year. During this pandemic especially, small local businesses need our continued support.