EarthWise Pet Supply to open in April

Animal lovers Lisa Obregon (left), who is holding Chanel, and Kim Bonnesen, who is holding Bebe, are preparing to open EarthWise Pet Supply in April.

UPDATED — People are eating more natural foods these days, so it’s probably a natural follow that that’s what they’ll buy for their pets, too.

Kim Bonnesen and Lisa Obregon are opening EarthWise Pet Supply to sell pet food and supplies in 1,900 square feet at 327 N. Hillside, which is between Yamasa and Domino’s.

“We’ve been talking about doing a business together at least the last couple of years,” Bonnesen says.

Bonnesen owned Brint’s Diner for about a year a decade ago.

She says she decided if she ever owned her own business again, she wanted it to be a franchise.

“There is some support there,” she says. “Especially when you’re getting things going from the ground up.”

Bonnesen and Obregon started looking at franchises. They both have pets and liked the idea of EarthWise.

“It just kind of seemed like a natural fit,” Bonnesen says.

“It’s going to be your premium natural pet foods,” she says. “More healthy options for your pets.”

Obregon says they’ve taken training that has taught them much more than they previously knew about taking care of their own pets better.

“Pet nutrition is extremely important,” she says.

She says the right kind of food can help pets avoid allergies and even extend their lives.

“People love their pets … and they’re almost willing to do anything for them,” Obregon says. “I know we are.”

She says she and Bonnesen want to pass along what they’ve learned, which is part of why she wants to open the store.

“That’s one of my main reasons, was to educate the public.”

The store also will have a groomer and two areas for customers to wash their pets.

In addition to food, the store will carry pet supplies and treats.

“This is definitely a higher-end option,” Bonnesen says. “It’s not going to be pricewise what you would find at a grocery store.”

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Liberty Tax Service franchisee to open second west-side office

WICHITA — After a decade in business, Liberty Tax Service franchisee Chris Merchant is opening a second location.

The accountant has a private firm as well as the Liberty office at 13th and West streets, which his wife, Deb, runs. Merchant’s daughter, Jamie Hanson, will run his second Liberty office, which will open in January in the same strip center where Domino’s is near 21st and Amidon.

“Mainly we’re doing another location because our first location has been so successful,” Hanson says.

She says Liberty is the fastest-growing tax preparation company in the United States. There are several other Liberty offices around Wichita that other franchisees own.

Hanson says more Liberty sites are possible in the future for her family.

“My goal is to have more than one location,” she says. “We’re going to see how this one goes. We can only do so much at a time.”

Don Piros with Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Hanson says the west side has been a good area for the company.

At the new location, she says, “We’re really going to try to target the Hispanic community.”

Hanson says the company already has one bilingual tax preparer and is training more.

“We’re just branching out.”

Tweet of the week

“Dear Dominos.com, Wichita is spelled W-I-C-H-I-T-A not W-I-T-C-H-I-T-A. We killed the witches last week. Thanks. http://tr.im/ol2L.”

— A June 12 tweet from local Web entrepreneur Chad Smith (@chadsmith)