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Farmside Supplies Inc. is a family-owned business, which opened its doors in 1987. The Kuperus' were Dutch dairy farmers originating from Holland. Their middle son, John Kuperus, decided to open a feed store so that the local farmers would have a place to shop. Through the years, the store has developed into a feed/supply store for large and small animals. Established and maintained with our small-town friends, families.

An Insider’s Look at the Las Vegas 2016 SuperZoo

By admin , on August,24,2016

When my father approached me and asked if I’d like to attend a business conference in Las Vegas with him, I didn’t ask for options b and c.

I had committed to option a: Yes. Yes! YES! before he finished the sentence.

(Background blurb: my father owns a feed and pet shop, Farmside Supplies in Sussex, New Jersey. If you’ve never been there, you should stop reading this, drive there, and come back. Your pet will thank you.)

 

Day One: 

1stphoto

We began the day early (2 AM) and drove out, bleary eyed, to Newark’s airport for our 5 AM flight to Vegas. Security confiscated my bottle of toothpaste and small jackknife, making me feel very good about the decision not to wear my turban.

We changed flights at Charlottetown, and I sit down next to a fellow who was on his way to America’s biggest hacking conference, Black Hat, which was taking place in Vegas concurrently with our SuperZoo conference. By the time the plane has landed, he taught me how to hack into the airport’s wifi.

2ndphoto

Thanks to the time difference, we arrive on the conference floor at 11AM and start right to work. The SuperZoo conference takes place in a single room, bursting at the seams with booths of producers, promoters, and their products.

Note that I use the word “room” because I can think of no other words for it. For this room was gigantic, colossal, brobdingnagian megaroom; a behemoth among rooms.

To put it more succinctly, the room was, in the words of Donald Trump, HUUUUUUGE.
The conference was, in fact, like a giant “Where’s Waldo?” book, where “Waldo” was a sweet deal or specific objective.

After getting a sense of orientation, and using the map to find some of suppliers we’ve had a long-term relationship with, we turn our jet-lagged selves in for the night.

Day Two:

thirdphoto

(One of the thousands of booths that colonized every square inch of the megaroom.)

The second day convinces me that the room was big enough to have its own weather patterns. If I had a pet beluga whale, I’d be mortally afraid of losing it in there.

We attack the floor with a few objectives in mind:

  1. Check out the new products and see if we can get some sweet deals for our customers.
  2. Scope out the various point of sales systems. The current one at Farmside has been giving us headaches, and we’d like to know if there’s anything better.
  3. Make contact with the dogwash sellers. We were just about sold on the Evolution Dog Wash, which was supposedly the best dog wash on the market.

Upshot to Objective #1: we could find nothing sufficiently eye-catching that would justify the forty-four hour drive we would be making back to New Jersey.

We cancelled the Uhaul.

Objective #2: We discovered a subscription-based POS “LightSpeed” that appeared promising. We weren’t ready to commit to it yet, however.

As for Objective #3, well, we finally hit a homerun. Thanks to our getting lost on our way to the restroom, we walked across the iClean DogWash booth, a beautifully-engineered, futuristic-looking dog wash, which I swear had a halo and a golden radiance streaming from it.

It was love at first sight.

4thphoto

(One of the thousands of booths that colonized every square inch of the megaroom.)

The second day convinces me that the room was big enough to have its own weather patterns. If I had a pet beluga whale, I’d be mortally afraid of losing it in there.

We attack the floor with a few objectives in mind:

  1. Check out the new products and see if we can get some sweet deals for our customers.
  2. Scope out the various point of sales systems. The current one at Farmside has been giving us headaches, and we’d like to know if there’s anything better.
  3. Make contact with the dogwash sellers. We were just about sold on the Evolution Dog Wash, which was supposedly the best dog wash on the market.

Upshot to Objective #1: we could find nothing sufficiently eye-catching that would justify the forty-four hour drive we would be making back to New Jersey.

We cancelled the Uhaul.

Objective #2: We discovered a subscription-based POS “LightSpeed” that appeared promising. We weren’t ready to commit to it yet, however.

As for Objective #3, well, we finally hit a homerun. Thanks to our getting lost on our way to the restroom, we walked across the iClean DogWash booth, a beautifully-engineered, futuristic-looking dog wash, which I swear had a halo and a golden radiance streaming from it.

It was love at first sight.

trumpdogs                                                5thphoto

Where was ASPCA when you need them?

Day Three:

pinkdogwash

Day Three, our final day in Las Vegas, opens with a light rainshower — an anomaly in a city that gets three inches of rainfall a year. The rain was a pleasant contrast to the oven-like temperatures we’d been baking under the other two days.

We view this as a good omen.

We spend the third day on the floor conversing with our familiar suppliers, as well as listening politely to the sales pitches for the more outlandish products (ever heard of a dog chastity belt?) Finally, we saunter over to the iClean DogWash where our friends from the Netherlands are waiting. We again go over the fine points of a very fine product and finally … we buy it.

My father makes a few phone calls, we shake hands with Adam and Sanders, sign our names, and the iClean DogWash, XL version, is ours, sold, for a briefcase of cash.

We believe it will be worth every penny.

We wander the floor for a while longer, I rob some booths of their complimentary candy, and then we head out, on our way the next morning to New Jersey.

*********

Looking back, the crux of the trip was the discovery, and purchase, of the iClean DogWash — an endeavor that smacked of Providence. Several times we had been infinitesimally close to buying the Evolution, which was a good product, but vastly out-matched by the high quality and comparably-priced iClean. The “accident” of not being able to find the restroom led us right across Adam and Sanders’ booth, who happened to be displaying the iClean at a pet show in the States for the first time at that SuperZoo.

And for the sake of completeness, since I’m sure you’ve been wondering, the city of Las Vegas was pretty cool.

lastphoto

 

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