By Sydia Bell

For the last four years, I have purchased my dog food at the same store – Inman Park Pet Works. Entering the shop, I hear “Mother Nature!” – the nickname owner Laura Saunders and her staff has been calling since I became a regular customer. This is part of what I’ve come to call the “Intown Experience,” where the local shops and their owners go a step further to show they appreciate your business. I don’t feel like I’m just “another customer” when I shop at IPPW.

IPPW is an independent pet boutique offering a variety of high-end organic natural food, treats, pet couture, toys and accessories for your pet. From the beginning, this pet boutique has been far different from its competitors. Gone are the fluorescent lights, impersonal greetings and aisle upon aisle of merchandise that leaves many customers feeling under-impressed and overwhelmed.

Instead, Saunders, who is also an Inman Park resident, has created a place where the loft-style brick walls aligned with pet centered canvases created by local artists are the perfect backdrop to the open floor plan of IPPW. The shop has become a place where pet owners meet, greet and mingle.

Saunders has curated an assortment of products to fit the needs of her clientele. “I do a lot of research behind the products I buy,” she says. “If my customers feel the same way I do, I know how important it is to give their pets the right products and something they can trust – that’s really what it’s all about.”

This is the kind of customer service I mentioned before. The experience that leaves you feeling like an owner cared about the service you received instead of the dollar amount rung up at the register, the experience that makes you want to come back for more because you feel like a valued customer.

In a continued effort to promote our Keep It INtown campaign, tell us about a few of your favorite places you patronize because of the “Intown Experience.” Is there a particular coffee shop that you frequent because they know just how you like your joe? Or perhaps the dry cleaner down the block is the sole place responsible for your work shirts because you like the way they set your crease?

Email and we might feature your favorite business in an upcoming issue.

Inman Park Pet Works is located at 914 Austin Ave. For more, visit

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Collin KelleyEditor

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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