Lukas and Berube, Montclair’s newest store for pet food and pet needs is a welcome addition to the Montclair family of small businesses.
A pet-loving town, Lukas and Berube is the store Montclair may not have even known it needed.
I have never considered myself educated when it comes to pets and animals. So when I saw that a new pet food store had opened in the bustling hub of Montclair’s downtown, I was curious. How much can there be to selling pet food? The answer is a lot.
Gregori Lukas and Marc Berube opened ‘Lukas & Berube Healthy Pet Markets’ in December 2017.
Lukas, a young, Montclair born-and-raised animal-loving former Veterinarian Support staff member, and Berube, a formerly retired VP are not your average business partners. The shop was founded on a chance meeting and a spark of love towards animals.
“I visited Montclair and I knew I had to live here,” said Berube, who previously lived in Salem, Massachusetts. “I met Greg because we live in the same building. I’d always wanted a dog but never had one, and Greg kind of started that journey with me.”
The two came up with an idea to bring healthy pet foods to Montclair. But they didn’t just want to sell pet food, they wanted to educate the community on how they should be feeding their animals.
Any customer can see that education is a main theme of the store. One of the first things you see as you enter the store is a ranking system of pet foods. Frozen raw food sits atop as the healthiest food, while dry kibbles are ranked lowest. Raw goats milk is advertised prominently in the front window, something both Berube and Lukas feel all pets should be drinking. Pamphlets, magazines, and flyers concerning pets and pet owners can be found all over the front desk.
“The most rewarding part of running this place is being able to change a pet’s life through changing the owners’ view of pet food. A pet doesn’t get any say in what it eats, so when we are able to say to an owner ‘look, frozen raw food can really help your pet be healthier’, it’s good to see them acknowledge that,” says Lukas.
There is even a “Q&A” section of the store, where customers can sit at a table with Lukas or Berube and talk about pet ownership and pet health. There is a concerted effort to make the customer feel open to new ideas.
While both owners, especially Lukas, are knowledgeable on these subjects, the information they possess is not common sense. Lukas only realized that the information that is normally given could be questionable when his beloved cat died, even after taking on a prescribed diet from the vet. The quest for truth in pet care led Lukas to Dr. Gerald Buchoff of Holistic Pet Care in nearby Little Falls. Coincidently Gregori was already working at Holistic Pet Care as their Pet Food Nutrition Specialist.
Formerly the President of the Northern New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Buchoff specializes in holistic methods for caring for pets. It was Dr. Buchoff that instilled Lukas and Berube with the confidence to do things a little differently – and to bring the truth to their customers.
Unique among pet food shops and what sets Lukas and Berube head and shoulders above the average are the Raw-Bar, the Cure-Rack and the 15 feet of stainless steel freezers for the Fresh-Frozen meals. Freeze dried treats and chews including fish treats from Iceland are included in the Raw-Bar while Essential Oils and dietary supplements can be found in the Cure-Rack.
Mail order is available on almost every item for concerned pet lovers nationwide who might not be able to make it to their shop in Montclair. Gregori is available to assist in planning special diets specific to ailments, age, and breed concerns.
It is easy to see Lukas and Berube becoming a favorite of Montclair pet owners. There is a wide variety of pet food and also various other pet products such as cozy dog sweaters and an array of different leashes. The store is also aesthetically wonderful – a subtle mix of natural wood from a farm and sleek metal gives the store a natural feel with a modern finish.
The store has also made an effort to integrate itself into the Montclair community. Each weekend in May, the store will be partnering with Montclair animal shelters to bring in older cats to be adopted. The idea was formed from seeing older cats in shelters, who have a decreasing chance of adoption as they get older. “It’s heartbreaking”, said Berube. At various times during the year, special guests and speakers are brought in to help educate the community on pet-related issues. Watch their website for future upcoming events.
But perhaps the most important piece to the store’s success are the two people that created it. Marc Berube and Gregori Lukas are helpful, warm and funny. It is a pleasure to peruse their store with the two of them tag-teaming in giving out helpful information. Lukas & Berube Healthy Pet Markets has found a home in Montclair.
Lukas and Berube is located at 15 South Fullerton Avenue in Montclair NJ and is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm, except on Sunday they close at 7 pm. www.lukasandberube.com.