Cornerstone Pets: A Family-Run Pet Store in Hoboken

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If there’s one thing we know for sure it’s that Hoboken-ites just love their pets. It seems as though everyone has some sort of companion to keep them company. And if you’re one of the many people who can be spotted at any given time walking your pup or hanging around the dog park, then you must know of the many resources that Hoboken has for fur mamas and papas. Cornerstone Pets is all the bark in the Mile Square and has been serving the community and their beloved fur babies since opening in 2004. This neighborhood pet store is a go-to resource for all things animals. Located at 105 9th Street, owner Meagan Matthews and her crew are here for all of your animal needs, advice, guidance, and nutrition. Read on to learn all about Cornerstone Pets.

The Backstory

Originally opened in 2004 by Jeff Laylon, this store housed a collection of both pet supplies and home goods — yes, home goods! Each piece of furniture that held pet supplies within the store was also for sale. From dog treats to mirrors, Cornerstone Pets had it all. Eventually, he realized that he needed to focus on the animal side of the business. Jeff opened the shop we know today with the intention of being a neighborhood resource and hoped to provide the community with that same feeling. He wanted Cornerstone Pets to be a place where strangers walked in as strangers and left as family. 

At about the same time as Cornerstone Pets’ opening, current owner Meagan Matthews started shopping there. She loved the selection of high quality, affordable cat goods and Jeff always went out of his way to help Meagan. Being a customer at the store wasn’t enough for Meagan, though. She was was working in the city at the time when Jeff offered her a part-time position at this local pet shop, and she accepted. 

While still working at her full-time job in the city, Meagan knew that this was something she loved. Jeff soon offered her a position to help manage the storefront full time. As luck would have it, for Meagan, this was something she wanted to for a long time, given her past experience and work with nonprofits and animal rescues. “It was a big jump from working for a nonprofit to managing a pet store,” Meagan told us but she happily took on the job in 2005 and has never looked back.

Read more: These 6 Hoboken Bars Allow Dogs

Moving On

A few years later, in 2011, Jeff decided that he was ready to retire and after much talk over the years, he asked Meagan to take over the business to “keep it in the family,” so to speak. In 2012, Meagan took over the business and has owned it ever since.

In 2007, Kate began working at the store part-time until 2010 when she decided to make it a full-time thing. “We want people to come to us as a resource and a friend in the community. A lot of customers come to us with questions about nutrition, behavior, [and] pet care,” said Kate. Everyone who works at Cornerstone is helpful and knowledgeable. The staff does a lot of consulting to help customers find the right solution to fit their needs. “That is really important to us. We don’t want to be the store where you walk in, buy something, and leave. We want to be part of your journey and help you learn something,” shared Kate.

The store is filled with a huge variety of supplies for pets — from food, to treats, to toys, to apparel and accessories — Cornerstone has everything necessary for your furry friend. One aspect of the store that Meagan is incredibly proud of, however, of is that she is able to offer a variety of high-quality options at different price points, so that every single customer can provide for their pets. Available at the store are an array of frozen, freeze-dried raw foods, kibble, canned food, treats and so much more. There are options for puppies and adult dogs, as well as selections to help animals who follow specific diets. Cornerstone has a range of choices and something for every pet. “We only sell what we are comfortable giving to our own pets and make sure that it is financially accessible to everyone,” beamed Meagan. Some of their favorite brands include Holy Chow — a line of clean treats made with freeze-dried raw food that dogs absolutely love and Gourmuttz, locally-made healthy jerky and treats. 

In addition to the nutritional items available at the store, Cornerstone also sells leashes/collars, toys, apparel, accessories, and so much more. Also available at the store are different services that could benefit pets and pet owners. Twice a month, Instinct Dog Training visits the store and is available to answer questions. Additionally, the store also holds different events such as pop up photo shoots with local photographer Will Ferman, frequent buyer programs, rescue dog programs, and nutritional consultations to help dogs with dietary restrictions.

Supporting the Local Community

The storefront focuses on selling high-quality items from smaller and local companies. It is important to Meagan to support those small businesses that are just like them. Being involved in the community is something the Cornerstone team really enjoys. As for support for other small businesses, you’ll see small brand companies like From Dog Food and even treats baked by local businesses. 

Cornerstone is also humbly and graciously involved with many of the local rescues such as Liberty Humane Society, See Spot Rescued, Wise Animal Rescue, and Jersey Cats and are always donating supplies and goods to each place. The team’s support is undoubtedly meaningful and helpful to each rescue. 

See more: Adorable Pets Working From Home with their Humans

Adapting During COVID-19

And while so much has shifted in the current climate, the staff at Cornerstone is still doing everything they can to help their customers. “In normal times, we are always so hands-on — fitting animals for harnesses, trying out toys. We’ve had to scale back on that for safety purposes but that’s our favorite part of the job,” shared Kate. The current situation has made Meagan adjust the way she and her team do business and has allowed them to tap into so many other resources. Cornerstone now has a complete online website for ordering supplies {for delivery and pickup} and can really connect with patrons using other forms of social media, allowing the team to serve the community in more ways.

Where to Find Cornerstone Pets

Cornerstone Pets is open for business and is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of all who enter the store. There is a three customer limit at any time and masks are required. Delivery and curbside pickup are also available. The new adjusted hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00AM to 6:00PM and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. Be sure to check out its new website too, which allows customers to shop online for all of their pet needs.

Have you been to Cornerstone Pets? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Hoboken homeowner and lover of all things local, Danielle made her home in the Mile Square City nearly six years ago. Danielle is a second grade teacher by day; after hours, she can be found in the kitchen whipping up a a new recipe or grabbing a bite to eat with her husband and friends. Danielle is the try-er and buyer of all things beauty and loves finding a good deal. Shopping on Washington, interior decorating, and riding her Peloton are just a few of Danielle's favorite things. Oh, and did we mention her undying love for the New York Yankees?