A passion for pets

Owner of Barkside Pets, Maren Esch, has a passion for animals and her business.


Barkside Pets has been serving pets in Fernie and the Elk Valley for several years now. Owner Maren Esch is proud to say that Barkside Pets is the Elk Valley's best local source for all-natural dog and cat nutrition, dog grooming, eco-friendly toys and beds, and all-natural treats... basically everything you need to keep your pet healthy and happy.

What do you like most about your job?

I love that I'm able to share my passion for animals and knowledge with like-minded people. The relationships developed with customers was an unexpected perk.

What is your number one passion outside work?

My number one passion outside of work is exploring the amazing area we live in, usually on my mountain bike and with my dogs.

What was your first job and what was one thing you learned from it?

I grew up in Fort McMurray and spent most of my time training as a competitive swimmer.  My first job—surprise, surprise—was as a lifeguard. The one thing that was ingrained from the start was the importance of team work.

What’s something that people might be surprised to learn about you?

I studied veterinary technology in Edmonton and decided it was the one way I could follow my lifelong passion for animals. Also, it was a career path that would have me working behind the scenes. This I find humorous, as now I'm front and centre with people and their pets on a daily basis. 

Why did you choose to get into this business?

I recognized there was a need for a store that provides healthy options for pet owners in the Elk Valley.

What advice would you give to someone going into business?

Prepare yourself. All of your weaknesses very quickly become evident. It is so important to surround yourself with a team of people who complement your skill set.

Karen Kornelsen

Karen Kornelsen, a writer for Kootenay Business Magazine, has a degree in jounalism. She enjoys finding and reporting the news from the business community. View all of Karen Kornelsen’s articles

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