A German Shepherd puppy named Franklin is one of many family members managing day-to-day operations at Skilos, a new pet store opening Thursday on Milwaukee’s East Side.
The family-owned business is opening its first location at 2328 N. Farwell Ave. in a shopping center near the intersection of East North Avenue and North Farwell Avenue.
Skilos, which means dog in Greek, will offer products for dogs and cats including toys, apparel, food, treats and other pet supplies. Customers may also find Skilos to be a convenient place to bathe their pets – the store is equipped with self-service wash bays. They have all kinds of chemical-free products for fleas and ticks and the different ways to keep them off.
Skilos was founded by Judy and Jerry Kurscheidt, but customers visiting the store will likely find their two sons, Zachery DeWitt (Franklin’s owner) and Jerad Wagner behind the counter.
Judy Kurscheidt has nearly 30 years of experience in the pet industry, while other members of the family bring their entrepreneurial spirit and educational background in marketing and business to Skilos.
The Skilos family identified a gap in pet stores serving local pet owners in the downtown and Lower East Side area, which is why they chose the location of the store. The family also believes the time is right to open a pet store, especially with a growing population of pet owners who view pets as members of their family.
“The pet industry is such a booming market right now,” said DeWitt, Skilos marketing director. “The pandemic really put pet ownership on a whole other level.”
Skilos will also launch an eCommerce platform in the coming months, allowing pet owners to purchase products online for delivery and curbside pickup, a convenience factor that consumers have come to expect during the pandemic, DeWitt added.
Skilos will hold its grand opening at 10 a.m. Thursday.
“It’s truly a dream come true starting a business of our own and we can not wait to meet all of our customers and their beloved pets,” said Wagner, Skilos operations director.