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After 28 years, Menlo Park's favorite place for pet supplies and friendly advice is closing down

Pet Place owners cite exhaustion, internet competition for decision to close shop at the end of June

Marc and Lynn Macy are photographed in their store, The Pet Place, in downtown Menlo Park on June 9, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Come July, Menlo Park's four-legged residents will lose out on a favorite spot to score free treats and friendly pats, and those who care for them will lose a community institution.

The Pet Place, a longtime Santa Cruz Avenue pet supply store co-owned by Marc and Lynn Macy, is set to close its doors for good at the end of June after 28 years in business.

The main reason it's closing, Marc Macy said, is because he and his wife of 41 years are exhausted and worn out. They've been running the store six days a week and are in their mid-60s.

"It's time," he said.

Another big reason: "The internet is just killing us. It has for a few years now," he said.

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Amazon, plus new online retail services targeted to pet owners, like Chewy.com and BarkBox, have really hurt sales in the last several years, he said.

Marc and Lynn Macy help customers in their store, The Pet Place, in downtown Menlo Park on June 9, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

About two weeks before the COVID-19 shutdowns began, Marc Macy said, the couple agreed to extend their lease only until the end of June. They'd already dipped into their savings to stay afloat in the hopes that business would get better.

Then the pandemic hit, which meant trouble for many small, independent retailers. While the couple's store has remained open as an essential business, income slumped steeply. "It is absolutely crushing us," Lynn and Marc Macy said in a handwritten letter to the community at their store.

The shutdowns have made it difficult to even initiate the work of closing down their business, Marc Macy said. Selling inventory, fixtures and equipment is harder with social distancing requirements and a reduced capacity inside the store, he said.

There's simply a lot of stuff in the store, and they have to clear it out by the end of the month. "I think it's harder to close a business than it is to open one," he said.

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Fortunately, he said, a number of loyal customers and community members have offered to help, partly because he and his wife have taken pride in always going the extra mile for their customers.

One customer has set up a GoFundMe fundraising campaign for the Macys.

The shop is one where customers stop in with all kinds of questions, and the store helps them find answers, whether it's through referrals or their own expertise. They've also sought to help homeless and disabled animals, Marc Macy said.

"The Pet Place was like a child of ours for 28 years," he said.

Marc Macy pets Kona in his store, The Pet Place, in downtown Menlo Park on June 9, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

When they first decided to open the shop, Marc had been working as a pet photographer locally and Lynn worked at Stanford. They adopted a German shepherd named Smokey and got to know the people who owned the local pet store. When they found out the owner was selling the business, they decided to take it over, he said.

Over the years, the Pet Place won 27 of The Almanac's Readers' Choice awards and was recognized as the Business of the Year by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce in its annual Golden Acorn awards ceremony. They've been invited to serve on the boards of various local animal humane societies.

Marc Macy reflected on why the store has become so valued by the community. "I think it's because the Pet Place is a labor of love," he said. "For one thing, we didn't go into it thinking 'Gee, we can make some money doing this.' ... We've loved animals since birth and have always been involved."

The business has taken a toll both physical and emotional, the Macys wrote in their letter to the community.

"The business has been physically demanding and also very emotional because of the level of personal involvement with our beloved customers and animals. It is not a business where you just lock the door at closing and go home. There is a profound bond with the community," they wrote.

"Once we recover and the sadness starts to wear away, we'll be fine," Marc Macy said. "We have so many things in life we love that we really have hardly any time to do."

The couple met playing tennis and hope to get back out on the tennis courts together after the shop is closed. They also enjoy hiking, mountain biking and spending time at home with their three cats and their garden.

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After 28 years, Menlo Park's favorite place for pet supplies and friendly advice is closing down

Pet Place owners cite exhaustion, internet competition for decision to close shop at the end of June

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 11, 2020, 12:53 pm

Come July, Menlo Park's four-legged residents will lose out on a favorite spot to score free treats and friendly pats, and those who care for them will lose a community institution.

The Pet Place, a longtime Santa Cruz Avenue pet supply store co-owned by Marc and Lynn Macy, is set to close its doors for good at the end of June after 28 years in business.

The main reason it's closing, Marc Macy said, is because he and his wife of 41 years are exhausted and worn out. They've been running the store six days a week and are in their mid-60s.

"It's time," he said.

Another big reason: "The internet is just killing us. It has for a few years now," he said.

Amazon, plus new online retail services targeted to pet owners, like Chewy.com and BarkBox, have really hurt sales in the last several years, he said.

About two weeks before the COVID-19 shutdowns began, Marc Macy said, the couple agreed to extend their lease only until the end of June. They'd already dipped into their savings to stay afloat in the hopes that business would get better.

Then the pandemic hit, which meant trouble for many small, independent retailers. While the couple's store has remained open as an essential business, income slumped steeply. "It is absolutely crushing us," Lynn and Marc Macy said in a handwritten letter to the community at their store.

The shutdowns have made it difficult to even initiate the work of closing down their business, Marc Macy said. Selling inventory, fixtures and equipment is harder with social distancing requirements and a reduced capacity inside the store, he said.

There's simply a lot of stuff in the store, and they have to clear it out by the end of the month. "I think it's harder to close a business than it is to open one," he said.

Fortunately, he said, a number of loyal customers and community members have offered to help, partly because he and his wife have taken pride in always going the extra mile for their customers.

One customer has set up a GoFundMe fundraising campaign for the Macys.

The shop is one where customers stop in with all kinds of questions, and the store helps them find answers, whether it's through referrals or their own expertise. They've also sought to help homeless and disabled animals, Marc Macy said.

"The Pet Place was like a child of ours for 28 years," he said.

When they first decided to open the shop, Marc had been working as a pet photographer locally and Lynn worked at Stanford. They adopted a German shepherd named Smokey and got to know the people who owned the local pet store. When they found out the owner was selling the business, they decided to take it over, he said.

Over the years, the Pet Place won 27 of The Almanac's Readers' Choice awards and was recognized as the Business of the Year by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce in its annual Golden Acorn awards ceremony. They've been invited to serve on the boards of various local animal humane societies.

Marc Macy reflected on why the store has become so valued by the community. "I think it's because the Pet Place is a labor of love," he said. "For one thing, we didn't go into it thinking 'Gee, we can make some money doing this.' ... We've loved animals since birth and have always been involved."

The business has taken a toll both physical and emotional, the Macys wrote in their letter to the community.

"The business has been physically demanding and also very emotional because of the level of personal involvement with our beloved customers and animals. It is not a business where you just lock the door at closing and go home. There is a profound bond with the community," they wrote.

"Once we recover and the sadness starts to wear away, we'll be fine," Marc Macy said. "We have so many things in life we love that we really have hardly any time to do."

The couple met playing tennis and hope to get back out on the tennis courts together after the shop is closed. They also enjoy hiking, mountain biking and spending time at home with their three cats and their garden.

Comments

gps
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:49 pm
gps, Menlo Park: other
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:49 pm

So long and thanks for all the treats! You'll be missed!


Karen
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 12, 2020 at 3:11 am
Karen, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 12, 2020 at 3:11 am

Thank you, Lynn, for always making me feel welcome. Your genuine caring for our beloved animals touched many thousands of hearts. You have had an enormous impact in our lives. Memories of your kindness will bring joy to many for years to come. A true legacy of love. Enjoy your new freedom. Well done!


Alison B
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 12, 2020 at 7:12 am
Alison B, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 12, 2020 at 7:12 am

Thank you for always being a place of welcome. My dogs have loved visiting you! We wish you well, enjoy your newfound time to relax. We will miss you.


Chris B
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 12, 2020 at 8:55 am
Chris B, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 12, 2020 at 8:55 am

Lynn, you have been a part of our family the first time I brought DJ in for a visit in 1993. That is 27 years of Jack Russells, Lulu, Leo, Nick and now Stella. Thank you for your devotion, dedication, and integrity all these years. You will be truly missed in this community.


Burt C
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 12, 2020 at 12:26 pm
Burt C, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 12, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Since moving here in 87 The Pet Place has been our provider and friend for all things pets, and there have been many. Lynn was always helpful and engaging, as was the rest of the staff. I'm sorry to see it end but hope you get time to recover and enjoy! You'll be missed!


Linda Kennedy
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 12, 2020 at 12:38 pm
Linda Kennedy, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 12, 2020 at 12:38 pm

So sad to see your lovely business close but I’m so happy you can begin to enjoy your retirement. I thank you both for your love and commitment to the animals and the community. You will be greatly missed!


Happy Resident
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 12, 2020 at 1:26 pm
Happy Resident, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 12, 2020 at 1:26 pm

We loved this place!
It served our dog, Buster. Later, it was the go to place for our cats L.T., Stumps, and Brady.
Pet Place was the Best of shops with all the best merchandise and all the best customer service! You will always be remembered with great affection.
You made a genuine contribution to Menlo Park.


Carol Taggart
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 12, 2020 at 1:53 pm
Carol Taggart, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 12, 2020 at 1:53 pm

Lynn has been remarkably kind and helpul. Once we discovered this wonderful shop, we went nowhere else for our kitty supplies. When I showed Lynn a photo of our beloved Siamese cat, she made the adoring comments I was hoping for. I have never been inclined to show photos to any other pet shop owner. She genuinely loves animals. Lynn is indeed special, and we wish her all the best!


Susan
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 12, 2020 at 3:09 pm
Susan, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 12, 2020 at 3:09 pm

Certainly not a surprise, but I’m so sorry to read this news. The Pet Place has been such a wonderful neighbor and friend to so many, two and four legged alike.

Thank you both so much,


Joyce Miller
another community
on Jun 12, 2020 at 3:33 pm
Joyce Miller, another community
on Jun 12, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Oh no! Before moving to Texas 3 years ago, you were my pet food store for my two kitties, Marleau and Puck and my dog, Hoss. I loved talking with your knowledgeable wonderful staff each time I came in. Whenever I have come back in to town I have enjoyed peeking my head in your door to say “hi”. Thank you for the many years of loving our pets. Wishing you all the best for the future!


Joyce Kellner
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 12, 2020 at 5:11 pm
Joyce Kellner, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 12, 2020 at 5:11 pm

You will be so missed! So many small businesses being driven out of business by the internet, so many important relationships disappearing. Thank you for all the advice, comraderie, and genuine interest in all our animals over the years.
Blessings.


[email protected]
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 12, 2020 at 10:16 pm
[email protected], Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 12, 2020 at 10:16 pm

Sad to see you go. Enjoy your future. You will be missed! Debbie and Anessa (with Nemo, Tootsie and Stella).


Claudette
Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Jun 13, 2020 at 12:13 pm
Claudette, Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Jun 13, 2020 at 12:13 pm
Alison
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 15, 2020 at 11:25 am
Alison , Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 15, 2020 at 11:25 am

I am sorry to see you go since I rely on you for your wisdom and supplies to keep my cats happy & healthy. But I wish you many years of enjoying the time with each other and your own pets. All my best to you both!


Carl
another community
on Jun 15, 2020 at 1:57 pm
Carl, another community
on Jun 15, 2020 at 1:57 pm

Thank you for your years of serving the community!


Diana
another community
on Jun 15, 2020 at 8:56 pm
Diana, another community
on Jun 15, 2020 at 8:56 pm

I'm very sorry to hear this, but I definitely understand it. Thank you for all those years of advice, food, and various cat things.


Connie Sutton
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 16, 2020 at 7:52 pm
Connie Sutton, Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 16, 2020 at 7:52 pm

We have always felt so comfortable and welcomed here.
Wish you well and much fun in your next chapter.


Lexi
Woodside: other
on Jun 18, 2020 at 7:48 am
Lexi, Woodside: other
on Jun 18, 2020 at 7:48 am

Oh, no!! I’m so so sorry to see you go! I have such fond memories of the Pet Place and you and Marc dating back to the Smokey era with Halloweens at your house when we both lived in Allied Arts. You saw me through Calvin, Franny, and Tilly’s puppyhood. You were Franny’s absolutely favorite place. If we walked anywhere near your block of Santa Cruz she would start pulling me and not let up until she was behind your counter with all the treats! And your service was so personalized. I can’t even count how many heavy bags you loaded into my trunk over the years! When we moved away I stopped my daily downtown walks and haven’t seen you as much, but you will remain forever in my heart. I wish you great things in your retirement!


Lynda and Larry Anderson
Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jun 26, 2020 at 4:32 pm
Lynda and Larry Anderson, Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jun 26, 2020 at 4:32 pm

We are so very sorry to loose this long time business although very understandable. We have valued your expertise and caring over the years and we both of you the very best. Thank you


[email protected]
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jul 2, 2020 at 7:04 pm
[email protected], Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jul 2, 2020 at 7:04 pm

I'm really sad that The Pet Place is closing and happy to add to their GoFundMe. It has always been a happy visit to go there for dog, cat & bird essentials and I'm going to miss doing that. Have fun with the tennis and whatever else you are all going to do going forward!


Linda
another community
on Jul 19, 2020 at 12:44 pm
Linda, another community
on Jul 19, 2020 at 12:44 pm

I read about you closing your store and I am so sorry you have to do this. I am a pet store owner myself in another state and going to do the same thing coming within the next couple of months. Its been very sad for me too , to have to do this. So I know exactly how you fill. I am at my store also 6 days a week.... have been going thru the same thing with the virus and online sales. I wish you and your husband the very best and yes enjoy it while you can...


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