Contributed by VisitKenosha.com
When she was five years old and in kindergarten, she brought her family dog Princess to 'show and tell'. Fast forward more than 30 years and a few dogs later, and Nikki Centeno is now a shop owner who brings her dog Reina to work with her. “I have my own little 'show and tell' right inside K9 Kibble,” she says. Nikki is an entrepreneur, wife, and mother of two teenage boys and two dogs. Her store K9 Kibble opened at 5535 Sixth Avenue in Downtown Kenosha on May 24, 2013.
Nikki opened her own pet retail business – her first business of any kind – for a few reasons. The number one reason? “My love for dogs; I’ve loved dogs forever and ever,” she shares. Also, she and her husband saw a huge need in Kenosha for a personally owned pet store that carried products only independent stores can sell. In fact, 98% of her store’s products are only available at independent retailers.
While Reina is Nikki’s sidekick in the shop four days a week, it’s Precious that has inspired what the shop carries. Reina, an Airedale Terrier, is under two years old and came from a breeder in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Precious, who is almost 12, was adopted as a puppy from the Humane Society. They didn’t know what her breed was at the time, but now believe she is an English Shepherd. Precious always had skin and stomach issues, until Nikki started using the Fromm brand of food. The brand’s quality and ingredients did the trick in helping Precious. That’s the number one reason the Fromm brand is the number one brand in the store, Nikki says. Also, Precious is allergic to corn, so everything in the store is corn-free.
When the life-long Kenosha resident was asked why she chose Downtown Kenosha for her shop, Nikki explained: “Downtown is a place that my family has always loved. I always shopped down here when I was a kid. And I always had a heart to see this area pick up and start growing again. So when we decided on a location we just only looked Downtown. We didn’t look anywhere else because anywhere else in Kenosha was just not an option for us.”
K9 Kibble carries USA-made products, including toys, beds, food, grooming products, treats, collars, leashes, bowls, clothing, and accessories. Corn-free and wheat-free food from Midwest manufacturers is available, as well as wholesome biscuits and natural supplements. There are also plant-based, eco-friendly organic shampoos, which are free of soap and parabens.
The toys are made by environmentally-friendly U.S. companies, so there is no need to worry about harmful dyes, lead, or paint. Nikki very carefully researches the brands she carries, to make sure there aren’t any recalls. There are even toys and dog beds for sale made with stuffing from recycled water bottles. All products in the store are corn-free and by-product free. The food is free of corn, wheat, and soy; instead, the foods are meat based, and made of other products such as oatmeal, barley, and rice. Treat flavors include chicken and vegetables, turkey with pumpkin, turkey with cranberry, and sweet potato. Dog food flavors include lamb, turkey, duck, trout and salmon. Pig ears and antlers are also available. Very popular is the biscuit bakery. Many people come in, and if nothing else, they buy their pooch a biscuit. Flavors include Peanut Buddies, Liver Lovers, Beefie Bones, Thin Mints (we’re not talking your typical Girl Scout kind!), Cheese Dogs, and Pizza Bones. The wide selection is sure to please even the most discerning puppy palate!
K9 Kibble holds special events from time to time, and also participates in Downtown Kenosha events. Adoption events are regularly held at the store with Loving Fosters K9 Rescue. And who better to ask about our many local dog parks, than a dog lover? While the store takes up much of her time now, Nikki has taken Reina and Precious many times to Carlisle Family Dog Park at Petrifying Springs Park. It sounds like they would give it “two paws up”, as they love to run around and play and make new friends!
Not to be left out are the cats! Nikki is allergic to cats, so while she knows a lot about dogs, she doesn’t know as much about cats. Thus, the original intention was to only cater to dogs at her business. However, the realization came that many dog owners also own cats. So to provide her customers with one-stop shopping, she started with a small amount of cat products. That area continues to expand. Dry and canned food, toys, collars, treats, and scratching posts for cats are offered.
Dogs are always welcome inside K9 Kibble. Nikki was asked if cats are welcome as well. She pauses, and supposes if someone wants to bring their cat they are welcome to. “Reina’s never met a cat before and she’s here four days a week. She would probably think it was fun.”
So, there you have it! Bring the dog, bring the cat, bring the kids or just yourself to K9 Kibble next time you’re in Downtown Kenosha!
VisitKenosha.com | April 2014