About usPartner with usSign up to our Newsletter

Whiskers Holistic Petcare

Opening Hours
Today: 11am–7pm
235 East 9th Street
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 1 Pet Stores East Village

Whiskers Holistic Petcare is far more than a pet supply store. That is because the proprietors, Randy and Phil Klein, are far more than business owners. Their mission is to help people save or enhance the lives of their pets. “We are an educational center that happens to sell product,” Randy told us as we strolled through her shop. She wore a bluetooth earpiece, allowing her to be in constant communication with many of her employees. Given the different aspects of the business - from shipping and delivery to consulting, sales, and even care for homeless cats - it makes sense that Randy runs a tight ship. “I’m a clean store fanatic,” she stated. Sure enough, as we traveled down the narrow aisles of pet food, vitamin supplements, and grooming and hygiene supplies, not a single item was out of place. She admitted that she has had to be organized to run a business for over thirty-five years.

“The initial passion ​grew from our own experience,” Randy explained. It all began when Tiffany-Anne, Randy’s collie-mix rescue dog, ​became ill​, and​ the couple​ began​ ​to ​learn about the pitfalls of traditional pet medicine and the benefits of holistic care. When the​y started out in 1988, “holistic” medicine was a foreign word to most consumers. Today, Whiskers is known nationwide as a pioneer in an area that is now much more mainstream. “That doesn’t mean that there is not still work to be done,” Randy admitted. “What we often see and hear from our customers about their experience at the vet is money-based. Doctors will recommend certain treatments because it means someone will get paid. The saddest part is that even when a vet refers a patient to us and our methods work, they show zero interest in what we are doing.”

At Whiskers, there is no “cookie cutter” approach. When someone comes in for a consultation, members of the trained staff will ask question after question so that they can determine an individualized course of care, one that centers around promoting natural animal behaviors. In reality, this means treating your animal like you would a human: Humanely.

For Randy and Phil, running Whiskers, with locations in the East Village as well as Astoria, is “not without stress.” Randy expressed to us that “What sometimes gets lost is how conscious we are of our customer experience. We care for them as people and we care about their animals. Our interest is in their stories.”

Sign up to Sidestreet Updates
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 1 Pet Stores East Village
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 2 Pet Stores East Village
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 3 Pet Stores East Village
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 4 Pet Stores East Village
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 5 Pet Stores East Village
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 6 Pet Stores East Village
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 7 Pet Stores East Village
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 8 Pet Stores East Village
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 9 Pet Stores East Village
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 10 Pet Stores East Village
Whiskers Holistic Petcare 11 Pet Stores East Village

More places on 9th Street

Lost Gem
Veselka 1 Breakfast Ukrainian Diners Brunch undefined


The warmly painted walls inside Veselka envelop the room in folky florals and traditional Ukrainian symbols. Hanging from the ceiling are glowing milk glass globes that seem to replace the sun or moon depending on the time of day — and it could be any time at all, as Veselka is open for twenty-four hours, seven days a week, serving a smorgasbord of pierogis, bowls of borscht, and other expertly prepared comfort foods — Ukrainian and otherwise. Wlodymyr Darmochwal planted roots for Veselka when, as one of the founders of the neighborhood Plast organization (akin to the Ukrainian boy scouts, teaching survival skills and Ukrainian language), he was asked to create a weekend study program for the boys. In response, he opened a five-and-dime style counter at the corner of East 9th Street and Second Avenue where the boys could buy paper clips, cigarettes, lighters, and, notably, bowls of borscht and other basic Ukrainian foods. The business expanded into another storefront on East 9th Street a decade later. After Wlodymyr’s passing in 1972, it was taken over by his stepson, Tom Birchard, who was later joined by his son, Jason. Today, having worked at the restaurant since he was a teenager, Jason has “done every single job possible here except cook the borscht. ”When Jason joined the team, one of his first projects was to find out, “How late can we stay open? ” It turns out the answer was “all night. ” As Tom and Jason once again prepare to expand the restaurant into an adjoining storefront on 9th Street, they are eager to continue serving the next generation the kind of traditional Ukrainian food that Wlodymyr would have had at his counter more than sixty years ago.

Lost Gem
Duo 1 Women's Clothing Vintage undefined


The essence of Duo is in its name; it is two things at once. It is dulled colors and clean lines, minimalist in feel but simultaneously filled with warmth and softness. Both young and old, vibrant and calm, it is modern and fresh but brings to mind memories of simpler times: of handwritten letters, cozy Sunday afternoons and soft breezes over the wide open fields of northern Minnesota, the owners’ home state. Conflicting and complementing all at once, Duo is the product of two minds at work. Sisters Wendy and LaRae Kangas have created a perfect little fashion oasis that fits right in with the small town vibes of Manhattan’s East Village. Growing up, Wendy and LaRae pestered each other and fought over clothes, as siblings will do, but in 2008 they decided to open up a shop together. Today, they work with dealers and emerging independent designers throughout the country and pick all their clothing, accessories and home goods by hand, combining masculine and feminine styles with modern silhouettes and vintage traces to curate a timeless collection of quality, classic pieces. “It’s a very personal process, ” they told me, “and we put a lot of love into our shop and our collections. ” Nothing at Duo is mass-produced, and most of their merchandise is recycled. The sisters pour their hearts into the shop and work hard to stay true to themselves while keeping an eye toward the future, expanding their business into the world of e-commerce and social media. “It’s important to stay current and give the customers what they want, ” they said. They love what they do, and working with family makes it even more fun, according to the sisters. “It makes work smooth when you don’t have to verbalize what you’re thinking, ” they told me, “We just know what each other is thinking and it makes choosing products and daily operations much easier. ”Duo is a celebration of creative spirit. It is clear that the sisters revel in the one-of-a-kind individuality of each and every one of their customers who come to them looking for pieces that will express their own unique style. When explaining what they love about their work, they said, “It’s great to make a customer feel better when they walk out the door. ”