Flemington pet store owner expands business

Ten years ago, Barkley’s Marketplace, a family-owned pet food and supply store, opened at 79 Main Street in Flemington.

For the first nine years, owner Andy Cohen was “focused on his customers, his community and growing his business.”

When the pandemic hit, everything changed.

“Besides the health and safety fears in those early days (of the pandemic), I was afraid of losing customers to the big online retailers,” Cohen said. “At Barkley’s, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and expertise. Suddenly no one was coming to the store and we had to quickly change our business model. We focused on providing the same level of service through curbside delivery and pickup, even providing my personal mobile number to customers in an emergency.

A year later, Cohen expanded his business by expanding home delivery, offering an online shopping option and opening a second store in Somerset County.

Cohen, who had invested in two delivery vehicles a few years ago, knew delivery was the key to continued growth. “The delivery had increased a little each month, then suddenly it was 30% of my business almost overnight. “

Additionally, Cohen recently signed a lease for a second store on Route 22 in Branchburg. The store’s “soft open” is March 20, with an official “grand opening” in early May. “I am delighted to bring Barkley’s to Somerset County pet owners,” Cohen explained.

Another big change was the launch of Barkley’s online store, barkleysmarketplace.com. “Customers want to be able to shop online and supporting local businesses – our new website will help us meet the needs of more customers, ”said Cohen. Customers can order on site for curbside pickup or local delivery.

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