On the Holistic
Pet Center website, Chip Sammons describes himself as the owner and janitor of
the business. Now he can add a new title to the description: Oregon’s Small
Business Person of the Year.
District Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA) named Sammons the
2012 Small Business Person of the Year for Oregon earlier this year. He was
honored with other small business owners during the National Small Business
Week in Washington D.C. in May.
his Clackamas pet food store 23 years ago with a unique niche: healthy food and
products for dogs and cats. The Small Business Development Center at Clackamas
Community College has played an important role in his business success.
owners have a lot of passion, but often lack the skill set to run a business.
The SBDC provided me the skill set,” Sammons said.
researching the ingredients in pet food after a dog died nearly 30 years ago. He
hit upon the idea of opening a pet food store that would offer products with all
natural ingredients. About the same time, he learned of a business start-up
class called the Green House Program offered through the Clackamas SBDC. He
connected with instructor Thomas Jones and went on to take Small Business Management
I, II and III. He stayed in contact with the SBDC staff for ongoing business
invaluable. I wouldn’t have a business today without some of the decisions Dr.
Thomas Jones helped me make way back when,” he said.
Now Sammons is regarded by industry manufacturers and
distributors as an expert in the pet nutrition business, and is often quoted in
various national magazines. For 17 years, he has hosted a weekly radio program
imparting information on how pet owners can best care for their animal
The SBA annually
names one business owner from each state as its Small Business Person of the
Year. Awards are made based on staying power, growth in employees, sales,
financials, response to adversity, innovativeness of products, as well as
contributions to community.
Sammons has served
on the CCC Foundation Board for six years, was past president of the North
Clackamas Chamber of Commerce and president of CCI Enterprises, an organization
that trains and employs adults with disabilities. Seven years ago Sammons
founded Friends Involved in Dog Outreach (FIDO), serving homebound seniors with
pets. FIDO provides “animeals” to seniors who participate in Meals on Wheels.
the very best of business in America — a veteran who leverages the skills
developed while serving his country to create a very successful business that
is committed to cutting-edge science and leadership in the market,” said
Merrill Watts, interim director of the Clackamas SBDC.
information on the award, please contact Jennifer Baker at 503-326-5122. For
more information about the Clackamas SBDC, contact Kathy Boettcher at