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Best Buddies Dog Boutique and Bakery of St. Pete Beach, Florida, garnered the Retailer of the Year award from Pet Product News International.

The company, which offers various pet products and treats, attributes being creative and atop trends to keeping the business thriving.
Alan Ronay, owner of the business, studied fine art and film production and worked for several years making movies in Los Angeles, California, prior to starting the dog bakery and boutique. To promote the business, he uses local newspapers for advertisements, direct mail, email marketing, and word of mouth to keep in touch with existing and potential clients.

One of the more unique marketing strategies Ronay has implemented is a token program wherein he provides tokens to local trainers and dog walkers. In turn, those local business owners give the tokens to clients, which are good for one free treat at Best Buddies via barcode tracking. Ronay also offers a “treat card,” where loyal customers are entitled to 10 percent off their purchases.

“Business owners give them to their clients as a thank you, which makes them look good,” he said. “The clients get a free treat, and we get to track the info and potentially gain new customers.”

The business has also been able to thrive in a town considered a vacation destination, complete with local beach hotels that cater to people who travel with pets. The store has three full-time employees and has been in business for three years.

For more information about Best Buddies, visit

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