Oak Brook pet store offers food alternatives
Sheila Spitza is co-owner of Wet Nose pet store in Oak Brook, along with her husband Joe. The store is the second for the couple. | Jason Geil~for Sun-Times Media
NAME: Wet Nose
LOCATION: 3041 Butterfield Road, Oak Brook
CONTACT: (630) 571-2400; www.wetnose.com
HOURS: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Updated: September 24, 2012 1:28AM
OAK BROOK — Lilly Spitza has no idea what she started about 11 years ago when she developed a few medical problems.
At the time, Lilly was about 1 ½ years old and experiencing joint issues.
Lilly is a dog that belongs to Sheila and Joe Spitza. Because of her problems, Sheila Spitza took Lilly to a non-traditional veterinarian, an experience that sparked an interest for Spitza that became a successful business in Oak Brook.
The Spitzas opened Wet Nose, a non-traditional pet store, about 5 ½ years ago at 3041 Butterfield Road, in the Oak Brook Promenade. The store’s opening came more than four years after they opened their first Wet Nose location in Geneva.
“I got hooked up with a great holistic vet when Lilly was having those problems, and it opened my eyes to a new way of taking care of pets,” Sheila Spitza said. “I’ve always been a huge animal lover and had pets while I was growing up, although my husband never had pets when he was growing up.”
Sheila Spitza had managed jewelry stores for 10 years, but was ready for a change.
“I always had this entrepreneurship thing in me, and I knew there were a lot of people out there who were not familiar with the holistic option for their pets,” she said.
Joe Spitza worked in finance, but now runs Wet Nose with his wife full-time.
The idea behind Wet Nose in Oak Brook was the same as the Geneva store.
“We have a very specific niche; we sell all-natural products,” Spitza said. “Our focus is raw diets. It really mimics the prey our pets would eat if they were left to get food for themselves outside. We started Lilly on that, and it was amazing to watch the improvement she made.”
Lilly is now doing well, Spitza said, and will celebrate her 13th birthday in August.
Meanwhile, both of the Wet Nose stores are doing well, and the Spitzas plan to launch an online business Aug. 1.
“It was a tough first couple of years here in Oak Brook,” Spitza said. “The center was new and didn’t have a lot of tenants. I had second thoughts many times, but things have worked out well. My original feeling was right, I think.”
Spitza decided to open Wet Nose in Oak Brook after driving along Butterfield Road more than six years ago.
“We were interested in opening another location. I just happened to see the center was going to be opening, and I had a feeling that was the place for us,” she said. “I thought the demographics were right for us.
“Things have really taken off the last couple of years, and the center has been getting better. Our focus is on food, treats and toys. We’re not everything to everybody, but we are a place where people can find a different approach to feeding their pets.
“Our client is someone who wants to do better for their pet. People often do have questions when they come in, and we have a great staff here to help.”