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Chuck & Don's, the pet-supplies store, is adding a 40th store in January, at 50th and France Avenue in Edina.  Chuck & Don's is adding a small shop of 2,300 square feet, which includes a pet-grooming studio, its third.  The store also will sell a limited selection of pet food and other products.

"We're thrilled to join the [Edina] business community in 2018," said CEO Bob Hartzell. "We jumped at the opportunity to lease the available space for our 29th retail location [in Minnesota] and are excited to expand by welcoming the [Edina-store] grooming duo to the Chuck & Don's team."
Chuck & Don's operates 10 locations in Colorado, 28 stores in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin.

Chief Financial Officer Thomas Murphy said Chuck & Don's opened four Minnesota stores this year and that the company expects revenue this year to grow to "in excess of $70 Million."  Hartzell, 64, and co-owner Chuck Anderson, 76, of the 27-year-old company, are in the fourth year of selling their ownership to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.  It is funded gradually, out of the employee portion of pretax profits.

"ESOP" proponents say that they are a great way for employees to gain ownership and wealth from a growing business. That is if the owners are willing to "get rich slowly," through a staged, conservative buyout. Hartzell said this fall that he and Anderson chose the ESOP route over higher cash-out transactions to a competitor or financial buyer, such as a private equity shop.


As seen in the Star Tribune, by Neal St. Anthony.