Healthy Spot stores are all about experience
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinsk
Andrew Kim and Mark Boonnark sought healthy food options for their furry family members. Realizing there was limited information out there, they started their own store — Healthy Spot, which has a location in Playa Vista.
“They saw a limited assortment of food with ingredients that were difficult to pronounce,” says Reva Choi, Healthy Spot’s director of brand marketing.
The pair started with a Santa Monica store in 2008 but have since expanded to 20 brick-and-mortar locations and an online store. Healthy Spot offers healthy and organic pet food as well as pet supplies, and services like dog grooming, nutritional consultations, dental care, obedience training and small dog day care.
Healthy Spot stores sell a plethora of healthy brands, including SmallBatch Pets, Open Farm and Mind Body Bowl.
“We offer healthy and wholesome pet treats, and we offer our own signature spa grooming supplies,” Choi says. “The treats stand out among the rest. They’re incredibly made and all natural. They’re manufactured to the highest standard.
“Generally, as far as food, we bring in brands like Stella and Chewy’s as well as Open Farm. Those are the ones we highlight quite frequently. They have the same philosophy, in terms of transparency. The ingredients are words you can pronounce. They’re not loaded with preservatives. When we bring a new brand into the store, our buying team does a full deep dive in terms of ingredient manufacturing and their mission.”
Kim and Boonnark were ahead of their time. They founded the company during the recession, when the health food crazy for humans hadn’t even taken off, Choi says.
“Pets are family, and they want to treat their furry family members like they treat themselves,” Choi adds.
“The public embraced the education and information about pet nutrition. Now, as a result of the pandemic, pet adoptions are up exponentially. We’re happy knowing we’re helping pet parents out in the healthiest way possible.”
Each store sells the same products because Healthy Spot’s owners want to keep everything consistent.
“We do love our Runway at Playa Vista store,” she adds. “We find that our community members are extremely passionate about coming in. Their dogs can’t walk by the store without pulling their owners in. I’ve seen it on social media. There’s a dog sitting out in front of the store, sad, because we’re closed, and they can’t come in. That’s what we love to see.
“The Runway and the community have so much foot traffic.”
Before the pandemic, Healthy Spot hosted adoption events on Sundays with a host of local rescue organizations. Choi says the company is hoping to reintroduce adoption events in the second quarter of this year. However, Choi adds, her company continues to support the rescues that are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of them are strapped on resources because we aren’t able to host them,” Choi says. “We’ve been in contact with them. We have roundup donations that are donated to our rescue spot partner of the month.”
Recently, a loyalty program was added so shoppers can receive rewards like treats, spa days and day care. Online booking was recently set up as well.
Partnering with the community is important to Healthy Spot’s founders and staff as well. Healthy Spot curates dog-friendly events of all kinds for the community. In its Woof from Home virtual event series, the public can find everything from workouts to car and dog nutrition classes.
“We hope to reintroduce our in-person community events like Yappy Hours and private dog parties in a safe way as soon as we can,” she says. “To stay updated on our events, sign up for our email newsletter or check out our Eventbrite page.
“Leveraging educational, fun pieces make us special.”