“My dad was kind of an honest cattle dealer, which was kind of unheard of in those days,” said Ruth Jeffers, owner of Jeffers Pet.
Back in 1980, Keith Jeffers also known as, Dr. J, chose Dothan, Alabama over cities like Valdosta, Georgia and Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Dothan had Water World for his kids and fast UPS shipping for the company.
The small pet supply business started on Ross Clark Circle and grew and grew and grew. They now serve all kinds of animal owners around the world. Jeffers even carries things like mountain lion food! But this is something you don’t see very often.
“A lot of pet stores have become corporate. They run on number crunchers and bean counters. This company runs on heart,” said Amy Dean, sales representative.
Retail giants dominate the pet supply business, but the Jeffers family had a little secret up their sleeve. They rely on good ol’ southern values.
“I feel part of something. I wasn't a big family person when I was young. When I came here it was sort of like my second family” said Jacob Hudmon, CIO of Jeffers Pet.
The key to happy customers is happy employees. Every worker from the call center, to the retail store, to the giant warehouse is part of the Jeffers family.
“Its just part of our culture, looking at our core values as a company and what we believe in,” said Jeffers.
“You know it’s a wonderful concept. Its very human friendly and its very human intensive,” said Dean.
Employees say they enjoy coming to work every day, which is obvious when you are on the other side of the line.
“That’s why the people who are Jeffers customers all over the country know they can call hear and talk to somebody who actually knows something about what they are selling. They can help with questions about why is my dog doing this or what do you think caused this and how do I treat it,” said Dean.
Jeffers is a company that relies more on word of mouth than spending big bucks on advertising. Happy employees mean happy customers and of course happy dogs…or mountain lions.