July 27, 2019

Tribune Photos/Joey Hedges

Mallory Herrmann

If you’re looking for a new place to shop with your dog, F51 Mercantile has opened a new storefront in Lake Lotawana. What started as a pop-up business to share homemade all-natural dog treats with the community has become a boutique offering the local, handcrafted and well-made goods for your canine friends that you might not find in big-box stores.

Eden Dowler Thurber, who owns the shop with her husband Nick, says it all began when she realized what a big effect your pets’ food has on their health. The Thurbers started posted on Facebook when they would be at local events with their dog treats – and, eventually, homemade bandanas. When they attended the Beers & Boutiques event this May, they saw the shop at 27905 E Colbern Road was available for rent and decided to make the leap into a more permanent space.

The Thurbers say they’ve put a ton of sweat equity into the shop, touching just about every surface in order to transform it into a dog-friendly store that also had that boutique feel.

“We wanted something that felt more personal,” says Dowler Thurber.

And they say the neighborhood response has been great, noting that the Lake Lotawana community has been very welcoming and that there has been a lot of excitement and support for the new shop.

The boutique carries the Thurbers’ own favorite products, including leashes, shampoo and feeders – in addition to their homemade treats, which are baked weekly.

F51 Mercantile is open Wednesday through Saturday and dogs are welcome (as long as they’re friendly and leashed!). They will also continue pop-up events this fall, in addition to adding educational events such as first aid for pets and taking your dog in public. You can find them online at www.facebook.com/f51mercantile.