Co-owner Will Paul stands in front of the Brunswick location for the Animal House. Photo contributed by Will Paul

Downtown Brunswick’s newest business is catering to four-legged friends and folks who own them.

The Animal House opened May 14 on Maine Street in the space formerly occupied by Fiore’s next to the Portland Pie Co. at the corner of Lincoln Street.

The store sells holistic pet foods, snacks, toys and leashes, among other pet supplies.

The new store will be the third location for Will Paul and Branden Perreault, who own and operate stores in Westbrook and Damariscotta.

“We knew this was a place that we would do well,” co-owner Will Paul said. “Brunswick was ideal because we saw so many people walking their dogs when we drove through over the years. We knew it was a great place because there were a lot of pet owners who were very cautious about how they cared for their pets.”


Paul admitted that the store’s opening was not without challenges. “Since opening, it was pretty slow in the first week, ” he added. “We picked up since then, and we are very pleased with its progress.”

“We came in, and it was terrifying at first,” Perreault said. “When we took over, we were uncertain of what would hit us. People had stocked up and hunkered down, and we were worried. At first, it was slow, but then people saw the value of supporting local businesses because they knew that it mattered, and then we thrived.”

“We are holistic and natural-based,” Paul said. “We keep our food as clean as possible.”

Perreault explained the nutritional value of holistic foods. “We are looking at the composition of what is in the pet foods,” he said. “When you feed pets the right kind of food, they get the nutritional value that they require, and you will notice that they will consume less, they will not be as hungry as often, and their coat will be shinier. Pets are nonverbal, so you have to look at those signs and their reaction to what you are feeding them. We take a holistic approach to ensure that what is in these foods is super high quality.”

The first Animal House opened in Newcastle by founder Aubrey and Dan Martin in 2005, and eventually relocated to Damariscotta. The Westbrook location opened in 2014. Paul and Perreault purchased the business in 2020.

Debora King, executive director of the Brunswick Downtown Association, said that she is thrilled to welcome the new business to Brunswick.

“We are thrilled to have the Animal House filling up Maine Street’s ground-level space,” she said. “They are great guys and so enthusiastic, and they chose Brunswick for their third location, so they did their homework, saw great potential here, and we welcome them.”

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