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New pet store focuses on healthy selections

Business partners Rian Thiele and Mike Osborn opened Pet Evolution in February in Woodbury. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker

Mike Osborn has a passion for pet food - but not just any kind.

Osborn, owner of the new Pet Evolution store in Woodbury, is focused on delivering products that promote health and wellness in pets.

"We won't just have any brand just because it sells," he said. "I only have brands I like that are healthy and good for your pet."

He and business partner Rian Thiele opened Pet Evolution last month in the strip mall on Eagle Creek Lane near Angelina's Café.

The businessmen described the store as a specialty pet food shop. The store includes products for dogs, cats, birds, fish, rabbits and ferrets.

Many of the products - from food to toys - are purposefully chosen being environmentally friendly, Osborn said.

"If I could have the whole store eco-friendly, I would," he said.

The store includes a wide variety of pet food as well as a freezer filled with raw food - in addition to unique products like "Doggles" - goggles for dogs - and products that encourage re-using household goods, like a dog toy designed to wrap used milk jugs.

Thiele and Osborn, who are friends, said the idea for a pet store stemmed from a confluence of their backgrounds: Osborn went to school to be a veterinary technician, while Thiel - who works in law enforcement - brings a business background.

Pet Evolution is the first business either man has ever opened.

For Osborn, the idea isn't to make a killing in the business world.

"I just want people to be educated in what they're giving to their pets," he said, adding that he's excited to be partnering with rescue shelters for events as part of the business.

Woodbury seemed like the right place to situate the business, said Osborne, who has family here.

"People in Woodbury seem to be really educated and more aware of healthy choices," he said.

He and Thiele scouted the area for months before settling on the Eagle Creek Lane location, which they said looks to be a convenient area for shoppers and provides a neighborhood feel.

"I think I visited every strip mall possible," Osborn said.

Osborn expects to hold a grand opening in the spring.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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