Scot and Cindy Rucker had a 10-year plan to build a pet retail business, sell it and then retire.
Not everything went according to plan, but a lot did.
The couple announced on Tuesday in a Facebook post that they sold all four of their Rucker Pet locations to Hollywood Feed, the Memphis-based pet retail company, bringing an end Rucker's 12-year run as one of the community's most recognizable businesses.
“We have loved every minute of growing this business and meeting all of you,” the post read. “Your support for the past 12 years has been unparalleled.
“The time has come for Scot and me to see what the next chapter in life holds for us.”
Scot and Cindy opened the first Rucker store off Keith Bridge Road in 2006. The couple eventually added three more locations on Bethelview Road, Peachtree Parkway and most recently Buford Highway in Windermere.
Hollywood Feed is a natural and holistic pet specialty retail chain established in 1950 in Memphis, Tenn. The company has 77 locations, according to Rucker’s Facebook post, including one in Forsyth County in Lakeland Plaza. Cindy Rucker said Hollywood Feed's commitment to maintaining many of the community efforts that Rucker Pet became involved in was a significant factor in selling to the company.
“They very much want to maintain all of the community efforts that we've done with fundraising, supporting rescue groups," Cindy Rucker said. "They do a lot of that at all their stores. In this area, they're still going to be very involved in those kinds of events."
The Ruckers expect to continue to be involved in the community too. Their 12 years in business taught them something unexpected: they don't want to retire.
Instead, the Ruckers have plans for a new venture called Yard Mutts that will be operated out of the same building where the couple began Rucker Pet. According to Cindy Rucker, Hollywood Feed will only need a portion of the 12,000-square foot building. The Ruckers will operate Yard Mutts out of the remaining space.
Cindy Rucker said Yard Mutts will be a daycare and boarding facility. Dogs will have to earn a good behavior certification to be boarded. Cindy Rucker said classes will start in mid-September and the daycare is expected to be ready by Jan. 1, 2019.
Rucker also said a few of the notable amenities at Rucker Pet's Keith Bridge location will remain, particularly the dog pool, turf area and grooming facility, all of which will continue to operate during the transition.
“Our motto for this new business will be, ‘Where Good Dogs Play Nice,’” Cindy Rucker said.