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Pet Food Express Opens in Red Hill Center on Feb. 20

Bay Area chain’s latest store, its 47th, opens with a fundraiser in which 10 percent of sales at all five of its Marin stores go to the Marin Humane Society’s program to assist low-income residents with pets.

The overhaul of and turnover at the Red Hill Shopping Center continues this month as Pet Food Express, the Marin-owned retailer with 46 stores in the Bay Area and four in Marin, opens a 7,000-square-foot store there, its 47th location and fifth in Marin.

Pet Food Express Owner Michael Levy, a Strawberry resident, says he lived in Fairfax in the early 1980s and “spent so much time in San Anselmo and the Red Hill shopping center. I have been looking at opening a store there for a very long time.”

That opportunity arose when the Arntz family, the center's majority owner, embarked on a massive two-year renovation of it expected to finish in June. The changes at the center incited an exodus of tenants who have either shut down or moved elsewhere as they faced a spike in rent or not having their lease renewed.

That includes the popular Easy Street Café, which closed in April 2012, Red Hill Pet Center, which moved to San Rafael in June 2012, as well as Round Table Pizza, Citibank, United Parcel Service, Pretty Baby Consignments, Stella's and United Studios of Self Defense. Pizzalina opened in late 2012 in the former Round Table space, and a High-Tech Burrito is expected to move into share that larger 914 Sir Francis Drake space in a few weeks.

Pet Food Express is opening at 868 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., occupying multiple former Red Hill storefronts, the majority of which were occupied by Silver Screen Video, which relocated to a space on the other side of Safeway.

“We jumped at the opportunity (to open in the Red Hill center),” Levy says.

Levy said customers should expect the “same mix” of products and services at its other stores, including five self-service dog-washing stations.

Pet Food Express traditionally holds a benefit event in conjunction with a new store opening, and the San Anselmo store opening features a two-day fundraiser for the Marin Humane Society’s Side-by-Side program, which helps “228 low-income seniors and others in need with pet food deliveries, transportation to the veterinarian, dog walking, pet grooming, litter box maintenance and emergency boarding of pets in the event of a client’s hospitalization,” according to the organization.

The fundraiser, set for Feb. 23-24, will donate 10 percent of all sales at Pet Food Express’ five stores in Marin – Hamilton, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo and Terra Linda – to Side-by-Side.

“It’s a great cause,” Levy says.

Pet Food Express will be open 7 days a week. No pets will be for sale at the store. Customers will have access to small pet washing stations in the space.

Per its tradition, the store will offer 20 percent off all products in the store for the first month it is open, and the pet wash is free for the first month as well.

“You can literally come in and wash your dog every day – not that you would want to or your dog would want you to!”

The 411: Pet Food Express is at 868 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo. (415) 455-8888. Hours are Monday - Friday: 9:30am - 8pm Saturday: 9am - 8pm Sunday: 10am - 6pm.

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Sierra Salin February 11, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Personally, I prefer not shop there, and would suggest that nobody else does either. From what I see, the the Arntz family has alienated and forced out the truly local Red Hill Pet Center, only to replace it with a chain. The Arntz family seems to care much more about money than about local community. Who hoo, give back 10% and be all community minded? "Community minded" was tossed out long ago by the Arntz's, at least in my community. They get no medals or awards from me. Pet food cottage may be local, sort of, and it is pretty big, and likely expanding. What was wrong with Red Hill Pet Center or the other business which were severely impacted for years, and forced out by a horrendous remodel? We ARE getting the world we deserve folks. Drive on buy, or fix it with every waking $ invested in the future, through the business' and practices we reward? I personally will NOT reward or support practices which reward the gutting of local business. Shame on all of us. We can do much better.

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