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Pets, owners get their all natural food fix in Kildeer Marketplace

Veterinarian Dr. BarbarRoyal shares some love with Louie Litrenta's dog Chewie Kriser's South Barringtlocation. A new Krisers opened this week

Veterinarian Dr. Barbara Royal shares some love with Louie Litrenta's dog Chewie at Kriser's South Barrington location. A new Krisers opened this week in Kildeer. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 8, 2013 2:12PM

KILDEER — Wednesday was a busy day in the Kildeer Marketplace with grand openings of Whole Foods and Kriser’s pet store.

The dual openings proved to be a fitting combination, too.

Chicago native Brad Kriser, who founded the all natural and organic pet food chain, explained that his stores’ customers often refer to Kriser’s as the “Whole Foods for pets.”

That’s part of the reason why Kriser decided to schedule the soft opening of his Kildeer store on March 6 in tandem with the grand opening of its neighboring store, Whole Foods Market.

Kildeer Mayor Nandia Black was scheduled to lead both ribbon cuttings, with her four-legged companion Brandy tagging along to one store in particular.

Kriser’s official grand opening is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday (March 9 and 10). The weekend will feature several deals and freebees for pets, as well as their owners.

On both days, owners can take their furry friends in to get free nail trimmings, identification tags and scoopers. They can also get four plush toys for $5 and can purchase bags of Nature’s Variety, Stella and Chewy’s, Felidae and other brands of pet food at a discount.

Pet owners will have the opportunity to get a photo taken with their pet for free between noon and 4 p.m. Saturday, and register to win one year of free grooming, one of five $25 gift certificates for all-natural pet food and supplies, and one of five $50 grooming cards.

Kriser said he began preaching the benefits of an all-natural pet food diet after witnessing first-hand the impact food had on a pet’s life.

But when a larger crowd of people became just as adamant as he was about feeding their pets a healthier diet, Kriser knew he had to do something more to meet the demand.

Seven years later, Kriser’s now has nine stores selling healthy pet food in the Chicago area, the latest of which opened this week at 20291 N. Rand Road in Kildeer.

The main difference between Kriser’s and a big box store, according to Kriser, is food standards.

“The ingredients being put into this food are the same ingredients that we would purchase for ourselves,” Kriser said.

More specifically, the food doesn’t include corn, wheat or byproducts — all the fillers used to satiate a pet’s appetite for cheap.

“Corn is barely digestible by humans, wheat and soy are known to be common allergens for pets .. and byproducts, who would want to put that into their own body?” he asked.

Kriser noted that the pet food market was created in part by products that couldn’t be used in human food. But he is happy to be part of the movement that does more than just keep pets full.

For instance, Kriser’s carries Nature’s Variety pet food, a brand that offers a diet high in animal proteins, like chicken or duck, fruits, vegetables and whole grain. Holistic Select is another brand Kriser’s carries because its “unique digest health support system” utilizes a combination of pre and probiotics, natural fiber, digestive enzymes and digest botanicals.

More than food, Kriser’s sells toys, offers grooming services and hosts events throughout the year; including adoption events, a costume parade, trick-or-treating and an “Ask Yukari!” cat consultation event in October.

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