You’ve heard of the Little Free Library and, even more recently, the new Un-Bee-Leaf-Able Seed Library at the Everett Public Library, but now these nifty little nooks about the town have gone a step further thanks to local pet store Paddywack with their very own, very paw-some Paddywack Pet Pantry in Mill Creek.
Paddywack’s Love of Pets Has Been Everlasting
Since the opening of Paddywack in 2005, the local pet supply store has been dedicated to serving pets in the Mill Creek community. Upon its grand opening, it became one of the original businesses to make a home at the Mill Creek Town Center while simultaneously taking home the first pet supply store title in Mill Creek. To this day, it is still the only locally and independently owned pet supply store in town.
The now owners and husband and wife duo Adam Felker and Shane Somerville took over Paddywack in 2014, running the store in genuine mom-and-pop fashion. Both Adam and Shane had previously worked for many years in the natural pet nutrition field, making them a true dynamic duo and a seemingly perfect match as owners. Not only that, but Adam had been part of the management team for Paddywack prior to them becoming owners, so both were already well aware of what a wonderful place Paddywack is and how important it is to the community.
Since their takeover, they’ve continued the store’s mission to provide pet parents with the healthiest and finest quality pet food, treats, toys, supplies, and gifts. As pet owners, their goal has always been to provide a thoughtfully curated collection of food, treats, and supplies designed with the health of dogs and cats in mind.
“Here at Paddywack, we think our customers’ pets deserve no less than our own pets,” shared co-owner Shane, “So, we have high standards that products need to meet to be found on our shelves.”
This viewpoint, combined with the store’s incredible team of employees that spends extensive time getting to know each individual client and their pets, has ensured Paddywack continued success in their mission to provide only the best of the best for pets in the Mill Creek area.
Now this dedication to local pets has gone a step further to help those pets whose pet parents don’t always have the funds available to get what they may need with Paddywack Pet Pantry.
The Creation of the Paddywack Pet Pantry
“We love doing what we can to help the community,” began Shane, who shared that during the early stages of COVID, they operated a free food pantry during business hours to help those who suddenly found themselves laid off from work and unable to care for their beloved pets.
At the same time, they also began to offer an Angel Fund, which helped cover the cost of pet food for those in the community experiencing economic instability and provided for healthcare workers and first responders. It was just another helping hand extended from the local pet supply store that frequently partners with local pet rescues and nonprofits regularly.
“Our food pantry during the early months of COVID was something that a lot of people found helpful,” explained Shane. “From past food drives we had done for the Mill Creek Community Food Bank, we knew that there was an ongoing need for pet food and supplies in the community.”
Based on this information, Shane already knew that she wanted to create a permanent structure accessible at any time of day for pet owners in need. After being inspired by the little free libraries of the world, she knew she wanted to do something similar. As fate would have it, the mom of one of her daughter’s new classmates, Amber Butler, just happened to be a Girl Scout troop leader who was in the market for a place for her troop to set up a pantry.
“It was so fortuitous,” shared Shane excitedly. “We started planning in October 2022, and the pantry opened on Sunday, December 18!”
The Girl Scout Troop Takes Action to Make the Pet Pantry a Reality
“The scouts of Girl Scout Troop #46475 did a fantastic job!” commented Shane as she shared how quickly the process of creating the pet pantry took place.
After an October Zoom meeting to show the girls the storefront and talk with them about her goals for the pantry, they quickly got to work creating sketches and brainstorming ideas for what the pantry could look like. Once Shane met up with them again in November, they were able to collaborate on these ideas and put into place a final plan for the design and wording of the pantry.
“They also added their own wonderful touches, such as individual drawings on the sides of the pantry, and colorful and positive laminated flags that adorn the planter that the pantry is affixed in,” beamed Shane. “They are a very creative and thoughtful bunch!”
Shane and Adam express many thanks to the Girl Scouts and their family members who helped, with a special thanks to troop co-leader Amber Butler, who made it all possible.
The Paddywack Pet Pantry is Now Open and Free to Any Pet in Need
Around 50 people attended the grand opening ceremony for the Paddywack Pet Pantry, including Deputy City Manager Laurel Brock and Mill Creek Mayor Protem Stephanie Vignal, who did the honors of cutting the ribbon.
Now Shane and Adam have a new commitment to add to their continuing dedication to pets here in Mill Creek.
“Our commitment is to keep the pantry full of dry and canned food for both dogs and cats at all times and other things whenever we can,” said Shane.
Pet food is definitely the most grabbed item out of the pantry, but they love to add treats, toys, and chews for the pets when they can so they can enjoy something extra with their meal.
And they’re not the only ones who have been treating pantry pets with a little something extra.
“Many community members have also taken to adding in items such as unopened food and treats from different brands, as well as gently used supplies such as leashes, collars, and bowls, and we also have folks purchases items to put in the pantry as well,” shared Shane.
Since the pet pantry’s grand opening, there hasn’t been a day Shane hasn’t noticed some pet goodies taken from the free cupboard. Likewise, not a day goes by that she doesn’t see someone donate to replenish its supplies as Paddywack welcomes all kinds of products and brands to their pantry. Their only ask is that all donated edible products be unopened and within their best-by date. It’s a good feeling watching the supplies come and go as to Shane, it indicates that the pantry is doing just what it was created to do.
“We see how much is turning over every day,” said Shane. “So, we know it’s being well used.”
A welcome sight for Shane, as customers and community members, continue to provide positive feedback on the creation of the Paddywack Pet Pantry and how glad they are to be able to support it. It’s been a special project for Shane and the store’s dedicated staff, who are happy to share the pantry’s message and care for it to ensure its continued success like the rest of Paddywack.
“We couldn’t do this without them!” praised Shane of the Paddywack staff, just like the pantry itself couldn’t take care of local pets in need without the generous donations of community members in the community.
“Take what you need, give what you can,” reads the bottom of the Paddywack Pet Pantry doors, a powerful, or should we say paw-erful, message of hope for those in challenging situations and unable to choose between feeding themselves or their pets.
“No one should have to make that choice,” stated Shane, who just wants to ensure that no beloved family pet ever goes without a full belly and some much-deserved belly rubs.
15407 Main Street, Suite #101