Pet owner Islam Ali said Queens does not have a good share of pet stores that serve organic foods and vitamins to animals.
“It’s not in this area at all. The customers have to get it from the city,” the 25−year−old Egyptian immigrant said.
After years of working in various pet stores in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Ali decided to bring that natural selection of products to the borough with his store, Pet Kingdom, at 25−40 Steinway St. in Astoria. Since opening in January, the store has gathered a following among the pet owner community in the area, according to Ali.
Ali, who opened the store with his younger brother, Ahmed, said many of his customers tell him they want to provide their dog, cat, fish or bird with healthy food because the animals are their loving companions.
“By offering them [the] best quality of food, it’s a way to show how much they like the pets,” Ali said.
Pet Kingdom has food products and accessories from brands such as Wellness, Solid Gold and Eagle Pack. Due to a recent number of food recalls, Ali said he personally makes sure every shipment he gets is 100 percent safe for the animals.
“Most non−organic market food has been recalled before at least once. In the long run, it’s a lot healthier,” he said, referring to the organic products.
Ali said he has spoken with area vets and they have recommended patients to visit his store for the goods. The recommendations, along with the store’s animal friendly decor, have attracted Astoria customers to the store, according to Ali.
“It’s active. There’s a lot of shopping traffic,” he said.
Another major attraction is the store’s mascot, Maximus, Ali’s pet pit bull, which stays in the store during opening hours. The dog is not only popular among customers, but also the pets that come into the store with their owners, according to Ali.
“He has his own fans,” he said. “A lot of the customers come in the store to say hi to Maximus.”
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e−mail at ipereira@c