Dellacontrada says she looked long and hard around Central New York before deciding to open up in Manlius- and says that this is the “perfect” community for her store.
“To figure out where the business would do well, we started driving around. Let me tell you, you can’t drive around Manlius without seeing about ten people walking their dogs. When you see so many people spending their time exercising their animals, you know that these people care for their pets like family.”
Although Dellacontrada is primarily running a business, she decided that she wanted to do everything she could to help stray animals find homes and connect with the community. So every month, Mother Nature holds at least two adoption events.
Dellacontrada allows organizations like Wanderer’s Rest and Loki Girl to give their animals a chance to meet local families who are looking to adopt. She says it’s been especially helpful for the success of Loki Girl, which is a foster based rescue and doesn’t have a facility to keep its animals. She hopes to expand her store one day to have space dedicated to rescue animals to help free up space in the shelters and get visibility in the community.
She talks in length about how important her customers are to these animals. Since the store opened, many of them have become volunteers and are active in helping animal rescues, and others just bring in donations. She says the store has a loyalty program where it gives back 10% of each customer’s first six purchases on their seventh visit. Many times, she says, customers will choose to donate their credit to the animal shelters. This past December, she was able to give over $700 to help animals in need.
“It’s wonderful to include our customers in on [helping animals] because they have a passion for it, but they can’t open a store or start a rescue – this way, they can help” she said.