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Creature Features-pet boutique

"Many pet owners no longer trust Chinese products after the pet food toxin scare a few years ago," she said. "Plus buying American means we help our workforce here, especially during these tough times. Many U.S.-made pet products are natural and animal safe. All our pet foods are AAFCO approved."

Creature Features has a growing clientele who especially love Taylor's sincere and laid-back business style-it's a unique approach to small town customer service.

Taylor likes to special order hard-to-get items for demanding pet owners. In addition, she is catering to growing number of customers who serve their dogs and cats raw food.

"Raw food is increasingly seen as the most healthy way to feed pets like dogs and cats," she said. "We have an in-house freezer with food cubed and ready to serve after thawing."

Joining Creature Features in the same shop space is a pet grooming service by owner Pilar Rinder-Goddard. While Features and the grooming shop are distinct businesses, both women are good friends and help each other's customers.

"Pilar is just wonderful with pet grooming," Watkins said. "She washes dogs, trims nails, and more-she can answer all kinds of pet questions."

Check It Out: Creature Features is located at Maple and Willard streets in the Kubata Building of the Marbleworks in downtown Middlebury. The shop is at the north end of the same building where the studios of radio station WVTK 92.1 are located. The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For details, call 388-0110.

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