Pet Pantry Will Replace Keeler Hardware

Wilton's well-known Keeler Hardware store was recently sold for $2.2 million to Pet Pantry Warehouse.


According to public records, 3 Godfrey Place - the location of - has been sold to Barry Jacobson, President of Pet Pantry Warehouse.

A board member of Pet Pantry Warehouse confirmed to Patch that Pet Pantry Warehouse is coming to Wilton.

The company has two New York locations in Larchmont and Rye, and a Conn. store in Greenwich, according to their website.

Pet Product News International gave Pet Pantry Warehouse its “2011/2012 Retailer of the Year Award” according to a recent article on the Pet Product News website.

“Due to its emphasis on pet nutrition, and the recent shift in the pet industry to a more heightened consumer interest in pet health, has allowed the business to focus on presenting a large and diverse selection of holistic and organic foods, including frozen raw,” the article states.

The business is family owned and operated, has been in business for 66 years, and employs about 40 people, according to the Pet Product News article.

For a preview of what the Wilton store might look like, .

Mose Hazo January 03, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I'm sure the fine people who started Oliver's Place are thrilled to have a large chain retailer coming into little Wilton Center. What a shame.
Nicole Thornbrough January 03, 2012 at 01:36 PM
As a customer of Oliver's Place, I know that I will not be visiting this chain store. In a small community like Wilton we need to celebrate and shop at local, small businesses. This is really a disappointment.
Dan B January 03, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Not sure how a family-owned and operated business with only three other locations qualifies as a chain store... I like Oliver's Place and will continue to shop there, but if the new place sees an opportunity to grow, create some local jobs and offer products people will buy, then I say welcome.
George Young January 03, 2012 at 03:41 PM
With an abundance of pet supplies and pet food already available at the Village Market, Stop & Shop, Oliver’s Place and soon Pet Pantry, I am beginning to believe there are more pets in Wilton than people. And all of them seem to be living the good life. A friend has a dog that is a regular at the grooming salon. She and her husband even take him to pet friendly resort hotels and restaurants. I see pets walking by our place wearing designer jackets for the winter. Not to mention high end booties and sterling silver collars. I’ve never heard of a pet suffering from high blood pressure or insomnia which confirms their stress free lifestyle. And they don’t pay taxes. Perhaps they can teach us a few things.
Heather Borden Herve January 03, 2012 at 03:43 PM
They're a local, CT business, and family-owned, according to the article Craig cites. It looks like in addition to the two NY spots and the Greenwich flagship, they're opening in Wilton and also New Canaan. Wilton will be the 5th store it seems.
Joe Burke January 03, 2012 at 03:55 PM
The property sold for $2.2MM. Even if they financed the entire amount and we added 3-4k per month for taxes. That works out to approximately $15k per month- a far cry from the monthly rent of $26k that Keeler's was rumored to be paying. Good luck to new owners.
Eustace Tilley January 04, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Good point. It's difficult enough to be a business owner without having excessive rent to worry about. Makes sense for every small business to own their facility ... Easier said than done!
Rational Wilton Mom January 04, 2012 at 02:12 PM
As a co-principal of a "Small" business, I totally feel for the owners of Oliver's Place. Oliver's place sells on quality and service, not price. They are not a Walmart of pet stores. It would have been great if a book store or music store went in that space.
Mose Hazo January 04, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Even better what about a hardware store for Wilton residents. While Keough's is a fine hardware store that is still quite a distance from the town center. I love the idea of a book store etc. but with the e-books today and nasty competition forcing changes and closings on large book chain stores, the little shop would have a small chance of succeeding. What is troublesome is that there does not seem to be a true "master plan" for the Center that helps guide businesses and encourages reasonable rents plus ideas for replacement stores etc.
Amo Probus January 04, 2012 at 05:10 PM
There is a "master plan." Its disguised as a free market economy/capitalism. The adroit survive and the rest become liberals preying on them for handouts aided by a liberal press, vote hungry Dems (and some Reps too) as intermediaries. Ring's End is another nearby, successful option. Screwdriver's are sold out though since Malloy and Obama handed them out to the party faithful.
Corey Bates January 05, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Mose, you should come check out Ring's End. We are trying to fill the void that the closing of Keelers has left in town. While we aren't a typical hardware store, we have made a lot of changes lately (and are still in process) to make it a more homeowner-friendly store. We just finished expanding our electrical and plumbing departments, and have improved our lawn and garden, weatherstripping, and currently working on our home hardware section. There will actually be an article on Patch shortly detailing the changes we have made. But I encourage everyone to check us out for yourself - if you haven't been there in a while I think you'll be surprised how much we've improved our selection.
Eustace Tilley January 05, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I always shop at Ring's End. They have a great paint section, sell quality lumber and hardware. Now, if only they had good old fashioned wooden floors... :)
Rational Wilton Mom January 05, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Yes, you are correct about a small bookstore being eaten up as was the case with The Wilton Open Book shop. The idea is to have more stores that inspire culture and learning and provide a place for people to meet and chat a bit. I often found myself engaging in wonderful conversations while visiting either the bookstore or the music store when they were open. Wilton has become a town of nail salons and liquor stores with a few women's, or should I say, young miss, stores thrown in here and there. We couldn't even keep Fairfield Stationers for more than one year. Yes, downtown Wilton needs a plan.
Mose Hazo January 05, 2012 at 09:50 PM
I appreciate the comment about Rings End which to be honest I never considered after going there several years ago. One of the clerks there told me that largely contractors shopped there rather than being stocked with what a homeowner might be shopping for as a minor repair. I will look. As to the other comment about our needing a plan for Wilton Center, there is indeed a great need beyond that of First Selectman Brennan's improvements and the Chamber of Commerce. In order for Wilton to become something of a destination shopping magnet for Wilton residents and residents of nearby towns, there needs to be a comprehensive plan: (1) dialogue with the landowners re rent pricing per sq. foot relative to other areas and sustainability based upon type of stores; (2) more variety than the number of nail places and banks available in the center; (3) promotion of the local businesses to increase their viability; (4) event planning to draw people such as the Christmas Walk and Halloween events; (5) public performances by entertainment groups, individuals as well as enrichment series; and (6) build Wilton pride as a town theme. There is so much that can and should be done to help make the center a diverse and interesting place with educational, entertainment, dining, and pure fun available. We need to help sustain Wilton's core.
Elyse January 06, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I miss Keeler's, and honestly don't see the need for a pet supply warehouse, but who knows? However, I fear for Oliver's staying in the area with a 'warehouse' moving in. What I think is becoming more and more apparent is that high rents are driving many businesses out of business or out of town (i.e., Keelers, Mediterranean Grill, Michelina's Bakery). As someone else pointed out, we have a lot of nail salons (Fairfield County seems to have an inordinate amount of them), wine stores, but no bookstores or hardware stores. Ring's End, though a hardware store, is geared more toward a contractor than the average person looking for a good selection of nuts and bolts. I will check it out again but have found that other hardware stores in Westport/Georgetown are more what I'm seeking.
Corey Bates January 06, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Elyse, I understand your comment, and while I don't think we'll ever be able to meet the needs of a homeowner 100%, we are certainly trying to do everything we can. If there's ever anything you can't find, tell one of us. We can special order most things pretty quickly.
robin January 10, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I was just in Pet Pantry Warehouse in Greenwich. The staff there did not know anything about a store being opened in Wilton. They were aware of a store opening in New Canaan sometime around March but had no knowledge of a Wilton store planned.
Joanne Steiner January 25, 2012 at 12:04 PM
As the owners of Oliver's Place we thank our supporters and look forward to others to meeing us. Owning a small "mom and pop" business is a challenge, but very rewarding. The Wilton community has been very welcoming and we expect to continue to contribute to the community. Our growth plans for the coming year are moving forward. So come visit us so we can give you the scoop. Again, thank you. Joanne Steiner Baltuck
Samantha Turner March 13, 2012 at 01:08 PM
I have been to the Pet Pantry in Port Chester, and I must say they are fun and friendly people. It is a small quaint store and not by any means a "warehouse". I welcome the change and hope they do well.
Elyse March 27, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Keelers still remains empty. Tumbleweeds blow past... any word on what's happening?
Deb Haftel March 27, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Oliver's Place has everything your companion needs, and more.
D Burns September 05, 2012 at 11:07 PM
I am looking forward to having a larger pet store that will be able to provide a larger selection of foods and possibly feeds for other animals. As an owner of animals other than just dogs and cats I look forward to the arrival of the pet pantry.
Debbie Stein September 06, 2012 at 04:44 PM
D Burns, having a larger selection doesn't necessarily mean a better store. But, that's why you have choices for shopping ANYWHERE you choose. The difference between a fast food chain and fine dining is quality and personal service, not quantity and standing in line.
EMR September 19, 2012 at 08:46 PM
A Pet Pantry's employee was quite arrogant today. Sticking with Oliver's.


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