We recently met up with Sophie Phillips, owner of Hyde Park’s newest pet store – Sprocket and Stone. If you ever find yourself on 53rd Street, be sure to stop by this gem of a shop!
Q: Can you tell me the story behind your store?
A: We started out with a dog walking business called Premier Pet Concierge. It was just a natural step for me to open a pet retail boutique in our neighborhood [Hyde Park]. A lot of my clients relied on me for a lot of advice on nutrition for their pets, and we’re very excited and encouraged to actually get this started.
Q: What do you think of Hyde Park so far?
A: I’ve been living in Hyde Park for over 10 years now. I love what’s happening in Hyde Park too as far as bringing in more restaurants, more retail. So people can shop in their neighborhood instead of having to seek things elsewhere. It’s very exciting. Hyde Park is a beautiful diverse community.
Q: Do you have any other hobbies, besides your pet passion?
A: Yes, I’m an artist! I do collage art mainly cat and dog shapes cutouts of recycled magazines and things of that sort.
Q: Do you have any preferred parks you go to when your dog or cat walking?
A: We like to walk along the lake a lot. There’s a really cool little park that this gentleman has created that’s called Jackson Bark it’s actually behind the Museum of Science and Industry. So, it’s an old tennis court where he’s brought all kinds of recycled items to do some agility classes. That’s also a really nice place to go to.
Q: What would you say has been the most sought out item in your store so far?
A: Right now I sell a lot of Fromm which is a company based out of Wisconsin, it’s a fifth generation family-owned business. They have a fantastic high quality product with really high standards. And it seems to be the local resident’s most favorite food at the moment. That’s one of my best sellers. I think people are coming for the natural bones too. I don’t carry any plastic bones. All the bones we have are slow roasted or slow smoked, [a] more natural form of giving your dog proper chewing treat. Then there’s our goat’s milk, which is kind of a wonder product for even humans. Pets that have allergies intolerances, [and] illnesses, that’s a product that is sought out as well.
Q: Do you think there’s been more of a demand by pet owners to seek more holistic nutrition nowadays?
A: Absolutely. I think people are really looking into providing their pets with a healthier alternative. Honestly, I have products in here that do not break the bank; that would be really comparable to big box stores in price, but of much higher quality.
Q: Is there a dog food or cat food that you’d recommend to owners looking to provide their pet with a healthier form of living?
A: I have a brand called NutriSource which would be the introductory line for those people who want to get something healthier, but don’t necessarily want to pay the high premium prices. And there’s a line called Pure Vita, which is the same company, it has limited ingredients. So that’s another alternative at the more affordable price. For people who are looking to get into the specialty store brands, Fromm has very reasonable prices and is a great food to transition to.
**Sprocket & Stone is located at 1013 East 53rd Street in Hyde Park, Chicago.**