StoryStudio Gives Back in 2013: Edgewater’s Pet Food Pantry

2013 marks StoryStudio’s tenth anniversary, and to celebrate, we’ve decided to give back. Each month, we’ll donate our time, skills, energy, and community spirit to a different local organization or charity.

To kick off our year of giving back, we’ll be collecting pet food and supplies for the Care For Real Pet Food Pantry, an offshoot of the Care For Real food pantry and clothing donation center in Edgewater. It’s a cause that’s close to our hearts: our studio mascot Zia, a retired racing greyhound who spends most afternoons snoozing by the front desk, helps to set the friendly, inspiring tone we strive for on a daily basis. Director Jill Pollack also has a rescue dog, a lab mix named Kai, who’s still working on her studio manners.

We know how important pets can be in the lives of their owners. As animal lovers, we believe in the Pet Food Pantry’s mission, and we’re thrilled to help support it.

Founded by Patti Colandrea, owner of the Bark Bark Club, the Pet Food Pantry supplies pet food to owners who risk losing their pets during times of economic distress. Patti founded the pantry three years ago when she recognized an acute need among pet owners during the recession. As a shop owner, she was uniquely positioned to see the impact of the recession on pets.

“We started out providing food for 10 or 15 pet owners and now we’re feeding at least 200 to 250 animals a month—cats and dogs mostly, and some birds, too,” Patti said. “My customers are extremely generous; everybody drops food off, beds, or toys. Lots of customers will buy their own food and an extra bag for the pantry.”

“We have a woman that comes all the way from Indiana,” Patti said. “There’s a gentleman who lives really far west with five Chihuahuas and he rides his bike every month. He’s really dependent on us. There are all kinds of great stories. I’ve seen several clients who are older living off of social security. Their animals are all they have.”

Care For Real not only provides needy pet owners with the food their animals need, it also educates owners on food management to ensure animals don’t become ill from switching food brands too often.

StoryStudio will be collecting unopened cans and bags of cat, dog, and bird food at the studio for the entire month of January. For more information about StoryStudio Gives Back, give us a call at 773.477.7710 or email