Pets have a way of bringing people together and that’s exactly how Charles "Chuck" Anderson and Don Tauer met. Their involvement in owning, training and showing German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Schipperkes, Border Collies and mixed breeds is how Chuck and Don became acquainted and also became friends.
|Chuck and Don in the early days.|
Chuck and his wife, Sharon, started officially training dogs in 1972 for the Animal Inn Boarding Kennel in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. They bought the Animal Inn business in 1978 and began running it full time in 1979. It is at the Boarding Kennel that Chuck and Don met. In 1986, Chuck and Sharon decided to devote their time to training and built a separate building for the Animal Inn Training School. They sold the Boarding Kennel to Don and Joan Tauer in 1988.
During the late 1980’s many training and boarding customers started asking Chuck and Don to sell pet food. They decided to give it a try and started selling Iams and Eukanuba from the Boarding Kennel and Iams from the Training School which quickly turned into truckloads being sold. The success of the pet food sales along with the achievements of some of the small local pet supply stores prompted the decision for Chuck & Don to explore the possibility of opening a retail store. In May, 1990, the first Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet store opened in the Eagan, Minnesota.
|Chuck with his Border Collie named Chili, and Golden Retriever Geno.|
Chuck currently serves as Chief Financial Officer for Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet. Chuck graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1963 with a degree in Accounting. He worked for State Farm Insurance from 1963-1966 as an adjustor and then worked for Murphy Motor Freight Lines from 1966-1979 in various positions ranging from cost accountant, purchasing agent, office manager, operating shift manager, to terminal operations manager. Chuck and Sharon currently share their home with a Golden Retriever named Geno, a Border Collie named Chili, and a mixed-breed named Tripper.
Robert Hartzell is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlet. Bob graduated in 1975 from the University of Denver business school with a degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management. He worked for the Clock Tower Restaurant in Vail, Colorado until returning to Minnesota in 1978 to open his own restaurant, Bobbie’s of White Bear Lake, which he ran until 1988. In 1979, Bob joined the Board of Directors of Hartzell Corporation, a manufacturing company started in the 1950’s by his father, and served in that capacity until 1993. In addition to his commitment to the Hartzell Corporation, Bob also acquired The Pub Restaurant on Madeline Island in Wisconsin and continues to be a major influence in that community.
|Bob and Jolene, his Yellow Lab.|
Shortly after selling his interest in Hartzell Corporation in 1993, Bob was introduced to Chuck and Don by a mutual friend. Chuck and Don impressed Bob as being extremely knowledgeable in terms of pet care and training and he believed that they had the start of a great business concept. Bob worked with Chuck and Don for two years before becoming a partner in 1996 and has been a driving force behind the growth of Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlet.
Don Tauer retired from the retail pet supply business in 2000 to devote more time to the Animal Inn Boarding Kennel and continues to lend his name to Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlet.
Chuck and Bob have a vision to be the local destination home town pet supply store with the very best customer focus and service, a wide and broad selection of products, and competitive pricing. Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlet is a Minnesota based company with stores in Minnesota and Colorado. Our expansion plans include 30 stores in these two markets by 2015 with additional market expansion plans in motion at that point. We look forward to making a positive difference in the communities in which we operate as we continue to serve our customers and their pets. We hope to see you in one of our stores sometime soon, as pets continue to bring us together.