From horses to hamsters, pets are family for a lot of Flagstaff folk, and animals and their caregivers have been treated as such at Olsen’s for Healthy Animals for nearly 20 years.
“It’s our customers who make us great,” said Warren Hubbard, who along with his wife Kristi have operated the Flagstaff store on Steves Boulevard since it was built in 1997. “Animals are special to people and they’re special to the people who work here.”
It’s that warm, friendly atmosphere that made Olsen’s this year’s Best of Flag pet supplier.
Olsen’s has been family owned since 1979, when John and Ann Olsen helped their son Mike and his wife purchase the Chino Valley Grain Company. The family renamed it Olsen’s Chino Valley Grain, which became Olsen’s Grain Inc. and then Olsen’s for Healthy Animals. Besides Chino Valley and Flagstaff, there are Olsen’s stores in Dewey, Prescott and the Verde Valley. All but one is run by a member of the Olsen family.
Olsen’s carries 30 different brands of food for dogs and cats. The store also has specialty brands for pets with allergies, including a dog food made with kangaroo meat for canines that can’t process beef or chicken protein. Olsen’s carries the entire line of Purina products and also makes its own animal feed and wild bird seed.
Hubbard said the store’s staff is knowledgeable about all the products the store sells and not afraid to seek out information if they don’t know the answer. If there’s a pet or animal food that a customer is looking for but Olsen’s doesn’t have, there’s a good chance that the store can order it. “I once special ordered food for a tiger for a movie company that was filming in Sedona,” he said.
The shop also carries everything you might need to outfit your dog, cat, horse, chickens or other animals. There are three carousels filled with bulk bones, cookies and other treats. An entire wall is lined with dog toys of every shape, size and color. It has pet collars, leashes and pet beds in all sizes, as well as vet supplies. Chicken feeders dangle from the ceiling and horse tack hangs from the walls.
The Hubbards think it’s important to support Flagstaff businesses and organizations, so shoppers can find local items like Canyon Coolers and Wagstaff beds in the store.