Chuck & Don's Story

Chuck and Don

Chuck and Don in the early days

Pets have a way of bringing people together and that’s exactly how Charles “Chuck” Anderson and Don Tauer met. Their involvement in owning, training and showing German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Schipperkes, Border Collies and mixed breeds is how Chuck and Don became acquainted and also became friends.

Starting with Boarding and Training

Chuck and his wife, Sharon, started training dogs in 1972 for the Animal Inn Boarding Kennel in Lake Elmo, Minn. They bought the Animal Inn in 1978 and began running it full time in 1979. It is at the Boarding Kennel that Chuck and Don met. In 1986, Chuck and Sharon decided to devote their time to training and built a separate building for the Animal Inn Training School. They sold the Boarding Kennel to Don and Joan Tauer in 1988.

During the late 1980’s many training and boarding customers started asking Chuck and Don to sell pet food. They decided to give it a try and started selling Iams and Eukanuba from the Boarding Kennel and Iams from the Training School which quickly turned into truckloads being sold. The success of the pet food sales. along with the achievements of some of the small local pet supply stores. prompted Chuck and Don to explore opening a retail store. In May 1990, the first Chuck & Don’s® Pet Food Outlet store opened in Eagan, Minn.

About Chuck

Chuck with Geno, Cal and Chili.

Chuck with Geno, Cal and Chili

Chuck graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1963 with a degree in Accounting. He worked for State Farm Insurance from 1963-1966 as an adjuster and then worked for Murphy Motor Freight Lines from 1966-1979 in various positions including cost accountant, purchasing agent, office manager, operating shift manager, to terminal operations manager. Chuck and Sharon currently share their home with a Golden Retriever named Geno, a Border Collie named Chili, and a whippet-mix named Cal.

Bob Joins Chuck & Don’s

Bob with Joleen and Nellie

Bob with Joleen and Nellie

Robert Hartzell is the current President and Chief Executive Officer. Bob graduated in 1975 from the University of Denver business school with a degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management. He worked for the Clock Tower Restaurant in Vail, Colo. until returning to Minnesota in 1978 to open his own restaurant, Bobbie’s of White Bear Lake, which he ran until 1988. In 1979, Bob joined the Board of Directors of Hartzell Corporation, a manufacturing company started in the 1950’s by his father. In addition to his commitment to the Hartzell Corporation, Bob also acquired The Pub Restaurant on Madeline Island in Wisc.

Shortly after selling his interest in Hartzell Corporation in 1993, Bob was introduced to Chuck and Don by a mutual friend. Chuck and Don impressed Bob as being extremely knowledgeable in terms of pet care and training and he believed that they had the start of a great business concept. Bob worked with Chuck and Don for two years before becoming a partner in 1996 and has been a driving force behind the growth of Chuck & Don’s.

Don Tauer retired from the retail pet supply business in 2000 to devote more time to the Animal Inn Boarding Kennel and continues to lend his name to Chuck & Don’s.

Your Local Store

Chuck and Bob have a vision to be the local destination home town pet supply store with the very best customer focus and service, a wide and broad selection of products, and competitive pricing. Chuck & Don’s is a Minnesota-based company with stores in Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin. In 2014, Chuck & Don’s launched an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP).

We’ve received numerous awards for our customer service, community involvement and sales to name a few. We look forward to making a positive difference in the communities in which we operate as we continue to serve our customers and their pets. We hope to see you in one of our stores sometime soon, as pets continue to bring us together.