Ruff Road Pet Accessories opens store in Otter Lake

The Ruff Road Pet Accessories is a small local business that has been in business for twenty-one years, but recently opened its first physical location in Otter Lake.

Ruff Road Pet Accessories offers all handmade items including fresh dog treats and biscuits, collars with matching leashes, embroidered bandanas, dog bow ties and flowers that swirl around. attach to collars with Velcro, cat toys with homemade catnip, and cat collars with special collars. untie the loops.

All products are handcrafted by owners Jennifer and Corey Danitz.

The company was inspired by Cozma, Jennifer’s Doberman who suffered from food allergies. Her friend recommended that she try an all-natural dog food.

“I changed his food and that did the trick, but at the time they didn’t make natural treats, so I started making my own dog treats,” Danitz said. “I gave them to my friends and all their dogs loved them. I knew I was onto something and signed up for a craft show at the local high school. I earned more in one weekend than I did my full time job. That’s all it took and I went ahead with a business plan. I worked my full time job for the first five years while working on the business on the weekends. After an extremely busy holiday season, I decided it was time to devote myself full time to the business.

The business grew and fifteen years later her husband Corey quit his job to work full time with her.

“From there we hit the road and started going to shows in upstate New York (which we’ve been doing all along) and added Florida to the mix,” she said. . “This year we were on track to have the best year yet when COVID hit. Everything came to an abrupt end. »

Like so many small businesses, The Ruff Road Pet Accessories has been deeply affected by the devastating cancellations due to the ongoing pandemic.

“All the shows and everything we had planned has been canceled,” Danitz said. “After more than a few financially horrific weeks, we took a step back, started to regroup and figure out how to move forward. The first thing we did was set up the website. We were very lucky to have supportive family and friends who spread the word on the website and got it moving. In June, we returned from Florida and had to decide how to survive without a show or an income. Our house is right on Route 28 in Otter Lake, so we set up our tent with produce in the driveway to see if anyone would like to stop. The community reached out to support us and we did pretty well. Knowing that we couldn’t stay in the tent forever led us to open our store at the old fire station in Otter Lake.

Corey and Jennifer had purchased the building last year.

“When we moved into the building, we set up a bay for me to do the cooking,” she said. The idea came up to open the store in the bay so that customers could come in and get fresh dog treats.

The Ruff Road Pet Accessories is located at 14015 State Route 28, Otter Lake, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dogs are welcome in the store.

Ruff Road Pet Accessories offers custom items. They can embroider bandanas and add names and phone numbers to any collar purchased. Items can be viewed or purchased at theruffroad.com.

Once winter arrives, the store will close for the season and the Danitzes will return to Florida until spring.

“With difficult times and uncertainty, it showed us how willing the community is to step in and help their neighbours/small businesses,” Danitz said. “We cannot thank our family, friends, neighbors and surrounding communities enough for helping us and everyone else when they need it most. You are appreciated.”